Bir Zeit University -- the educational institute for Arabs in the occupied West Bank -- has re-opened two months after it was closed by order of the Israeli military administration.
SV PAN Military Governor leaving Bir Zeit University by car
SV PAN & CU Students outside portico (2 shots)
CU University staff member Karim Khalam speaking in English
SV PAN Arab on donkey passes by university entrance as students exit
KARIM KHALAM: "Today, we have received notification from the military government that the university will be re-opened and that the period of closure was over now. After two months of closing us, we are now preparing for continuing our academic process. We are planning to hold a summer course and to compensate the students for what they... ... lost during the period of closing."
REPORTER: "Did you make any promises to the military government?"
KHALAM: "No, we have promised nothing. We said, as before, that we are responsible for what's going on inside the campus, but outside the campus it's not our responsibility. We have promised nothing which we have refused to promise before."
Two teachers colleges, which were closed down along with Bir Zeit University, have not received permission from the Israeli military administration to re-open.
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Background: Bir Zeit University -- the educational institute for Arabs in the occupied West Bank -- has re-opened two months after it was closed by order of the Israeli military administration. The University was shut down after Arab students set up road blocks and stoned Israeli settlement campaigners who were driving to an Independence Day celebration. An eighteen-year-old Arab student was shot in the chest during a clash between armed Israeli civilians and young Arabs protesting at the settlement drive. Most of the Israelis taking part in the Independence Day celebration in May were supporters of the fanatical Gush Emunim Movement. Shortly after the clash, the Israeli military authorities closed Bir Zeit University, claiming that it was a centre for subversion.
SYNOPSIS: Bir Zeit opened its gates once more on Wednesday (4 July), as the Military Governor, Brigadier Binyamin Bel Eloezer, completed final discussions with the university head. The army has also suspended its threats to prosecute the mayor and other leading figures in Nablus -- the biggest West Bank town. They were accused of defying a ban on demonstrations against the Jewish settlement. A university spokesman has told Israeli Defence Minister, Ezer Weizman, that the university would be responsible for keeping order inside its gates. But any incidents occurring outside the university would be the responsibility of the military government.
During the two month closure, the students claim to have continued their classes in private homes and public buildings -- in defiance of the Israeli military authorities.