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Background: Palestinian Institutions Reopened in Hebron - Israel drops conditions? (IMRA-INDEPENDENT MEDIA REVIEW ANALYSIS) Dr. Aaron Lerner 08/15/03) Source: http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=17943
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Israel Radio reported today that the IDF announced the reopening of the Palestine Polytechnic University and the Islamic College in Hebron within the framework of goodwill gestures to the Palestinians . The IDF explained that the heads of the institutions committed to prevent terror activity on campus.
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Until now (see IDF 3 April announcement below) "the opening of the Institute was made conditional upon a halt in recruiting terrorists from the school´s ranks, ceasing anti-Israel incitement, supervision over the student association, the prohibition on activities by outlaws, the removal of posters encouraging hostile activity against Israel, distancing students involved in perpetrating terror, and establishing a mechanism that will ensure these conditions are upheld."
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It is not clear if the commitment of the heads of the institutions to "prevent terror activity on campus" comes anywhere close to the above conditions either in terms of scope or the establishment of an enforcement mechanism.
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It would appear, in fact, that the IDF has decided that the "mechanism that will ensure these conditions are upheld" is a simple commitment by the heads of the institutions.
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It should be noted that, despite the IDF press release earlier today stating that "As the Palestinians act to extensively thwart and prevent terror attacks, the IDF will be able alleviate the security measures" the IDF is actually, at best, following an approach that requires the Palestinians to "say they will act to extensively thwart and prevent terror attacks..."
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Interestingly, the IDF opted to open both institutions based on promises instead of opening one as a test and then only opening the second after it turned out that the Palestinians actually honored their commitment to prevent terror activity on campus.
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The following are two earlier IDF press releases relating to these institutions:
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#1 Palestinian Schools Which Encouraged Terror Closed By IDF IDF Spokesperson 15 January 2003
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Last night, in a joint operation carried out by IDF ordnance units and companies from the ´Nahal´ infantry brigade in Hebron, the entrances of three Palestinian colleges that openly encouraged terrorism were sealed closed. "The Palestinian Authority Education System incites terror and encourages murder," commented a high ranking Israeli security source, adding, "these three colleges endorsed terror and acts of vengeance as part of their curriculum". Before beginning to seal the doors of the colleges, the forces collected incitement materials found inside.
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We don´t want to hurt the Palestinian population, but we must prevent incitement by their leadership
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Commander of the Nahal company that took part in last nights operation elaborated on the aims of the operation: "We do not in any manner wish to harm the innocent Palestinian population, however, we have a duty to prevent education that incites murder of Israelis. That is why we chose to go about the operation in the way that we did, by sealing the doors and blocking the entrance to the school in a manner that can be reversed, and not by demolishing the buildings".
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At approximately 23:00, after a short briefing at the Nahal Brigade´s base, ordnance forces, backed up by two Nahal infantry companies, entered the city of Hebron. A special IDF team from the Documentation Branch joined the forces operating in the area in order to collect the incitement of terror materials found in the colleges. The deputy commander of the Documentation Branch, Itsik, emphasized the main importance of exposing the propaganda incitement collected in order to increase global understanding of what we are fighting.
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The first college to be sealed up in this operation was the Islamic College of Hebron. Upon entering the college campus, the soldiers asked the college guards to accompany them into the building. The guards agreed, and after entering the building, the forces began searches of the classrooms, the corridors and the offices. Outside the building was a sort of sheltered area over which the words: "It is holy to remember the martyr" was painted.
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The whole of the first floor was decorated with banners upon which the "whole land of Palestine" was depicted, as well as slogans advocating the destruction of Israel.
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Children´s notebooks covered with pictures of "Martyrs" Being taught to hate from a young age
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In the main office, situated on the first floor, soldiers were shocked to find a wide variety of incitement paraphernalia, including banners, posters, flags, CD´s, tapes and even children´s notebooks depicting the faces of suicide bomber "martyrs" on the cover. Some notebooks even depicted the "Martyrs tree", something which looks like an enormous family tree, but with the faces of all the "martyrs" on it.
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Classrooms were filled to the brim with posters that praised suicide bombings and glorified the suicide bombers. "The Jihad is our path" proclaimed one poster, whilst another announced, "Sharon and Bush are pigs". Yet another poster declared "The glory of the Martyrs". These are but a few examples of incitement used to influence and abuse young Palestinian children.
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Pictures of September 11th terror attacks found in classrooms
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On the second floor, hundreds of cassettes made by the different terrorist organizations were found on which were slogans calling for the destruction of the State of Israel. When soldiers entered the second floor classrooms, they found boxes filled with folders on who´s covers were pictures of the September 11th terror attacks next to pictures of armed Palestinians.
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In ensuing searches, soldiers discovered that not only did the college distribute incitement materials, but had also incorporated it into the curriculum. Notebooks and textbooks with the Hamas symbols and slogans supporting acts of terrorism against Israel were found.
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Sealing the doors
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After the building had been thoroughly searched, and the incitement terror paraphernalia had been gathered up and taken away, the IDF ordnance forces started work to seal up the college´s doors. This was done to prevent students from getting into the college, however not in the long term. Ordnance soldier Dubi explained: "A decision was taken not to demolish the building or to seal it in such a way that would be impossible to reverse, so as not to cause too much disruption to innocent students. The operation was a strong message to the Palestinian Authority and the college in particular that we do not agree to educating and abusing children in the values of murder or inciting terror against Israel."
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Welding shut the college doors. Photo: IDF Documentation Branch of Central Command.
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Pipe bomb activated against IDF forces at 3:00 am
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At approximately 3:00 am, just as soldiers finished sealing the college doors shouts were heard coming from the direction of the gates. Soldiers soon discovered that Palestinians had thrown a pipe bomb close to the college gates. "Pipe bombs are common in this particular area," the company commander told his soldiers. The soldiers took cover as army sappers were called to the scene to defuse the bomb.
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The soldiers thanked the Palestinian guards and went on to the next destination on their list.
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The second institute was the old Polytechnic. The polytechnic was known to be a "hotspot" for Islamic terrorists and suicide bombers. Here also, soldiers gathered incitement materials found in the polytechnic and sealed the doors. This part of the operation went smoothly and soon the soldiers were on their way to their third and final destination: The New Polytechnic school.
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Dawn was fast approaching as soldiers conducted their searches at the new polytechnic, forcing them to move quickly. Only minimal searches were conducted, but even so, much incitement material was gathered including vicious anti-Semitic caricatures and textbooks encouraging hate and violence. The gates of the New Polytechnic were also sealed, and the soldiers returned to their base.
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Harsh message: Israel will not sit back and do nothing
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When the soldiers returned to their base at 6:00am, the brigade commander told his troops: "Suicide bombings and terrorist attacks are a direct result of all the incitement material you gathered tonight. By the success of this mission, we have sent a harsh message to the Palestinians- Israel will not sit back on its laurels and allow Palestinian education to teach students to murder innocent Israeli civilians".
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A senior security source noted that "over the years, and especially since the beginning of the current conflict, certain Palestinian academic institutions focus on the teaching of fanatical Islamic beliefs and actions of terrorist organizations. Terrorist organizations are basing a large part of their infrastructure on the student body and are getting to them through academic institutions. The terrorist organization activity involves preparing and distributing inciting material, recruiting, and training hundreds of terrorists."
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Among the suicide bombers who have emerged from the Polytechnic are:
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The terror suicide bombers who carried out the 1996 attacks in Jerusalem
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The three terrorists responsible for the attack on "Worshippers Road" in Hebron, in which 12 Israelis were murdered and 16 injured
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The terrorist who infiltrated the community of Adura in April 2002, in which four Israelis were murdered and seven injured
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The terrorist who infiltrated the community of Otniel in December 2002, in which seven Israelis were murdered and seven more were injured.
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Among the many terrorists who studied in Hebron´s Islamic college, is the terrorist responsible for the terror attack near the southern command headquarters in Beersheva in February 2002, in which two IDF soldiers were murdered.
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Two students who are also leaders in the military wing of the Hamas in Hebron admitted during questioning by Israeli security services that they were directly involved in the infiltration and attack on Karmei Tzur in June 2002, in which three Israelis were murdered.
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Documents found by the IDF in operation "Defensive Shield" show that in a laboratory in the Department of Chemistry in the college´s science faculty, Hamas leaders teach students how to make explosives to be used in terrorist attacks.
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The large number of suicide bombers originating from Palestinian academic institutions is an indication of the seriousness of the phenomenon. It provides further evidence of how Palestinian terror organizations use academic institutions to organize and promote terror. Moreover, it further demonstrates the exploitation of civilians and children by Palestinian terrorist organizations.
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#2 Offer to Polytechnic Institute Administration in Hebron to Reopen IDF Spokesperson 3 April 2003
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As part of the IDF´s ongoing battle against terrorism and its infrastructure, IDF forces closed the Polytechnic Institute in Hebron on the night of January 27, 2003.
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Recently, in an effort to maintain the daily routine of innocent Palestinians and out of an understanding of the importance of regularly functioning educational institutions, the Institute´s administration was offered to reopen the school.
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The opening of the Institute was made conditional upon a halt in recruiting terrorists from the school´s ranks, ceasing anti-Israel incitement, supervision over the student association, the prohibition on activities by outlaws, the removal of posters encouraging hostile activity against Israel, distancing students involved in perpetrating terror, and establishing a mechanism that will ensure these conditions are upheld.
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Though the offer was presented to the Institute´s administration, they did not display an interest in cooperation nor in taking the necessary steps to distance terror from its doorsteps that would transform it into a proper academic institution.
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Therefore, it was decided to actualize the message as was issued in the closure order and order the continued closure of the Polytechnic Institute for a period of six months beginning January 12, 2003.
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Since the beginning of the current conflict, academic institutions in general and the Polytechnic in particular stand at the center and provide cover for extreme nationalistic activity by terrorist organizations.
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The terrorist organizations based a significant amount of their operational infrastructure on students by using the means available to them at the academic institutions. The activities included disseminating inciteful material, and the recruiting and training of hundreds of activists.
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Among the terrorists that came from the Polytechnic Institute was the terrorist that infiltrated Adurah in April 2002 in which four were killed and seven injured, the terrorist who infiltrated Otniel in December 2002 in which four were killed and ten injured, and the three terrorists who perpetrated the shooting attack on "Worshippers Lane" in Hebron in which 12 Israelis were killed and 16 injured. (IMRA.ORG.IL 08/15/03)
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