Occupation authorities of the West Bank last night ordered the closing of Bir Zeit University for two months following a campus altercation in which an Israeli education official visiting the campus was beaten and chased from the university by angry students.
Menachem Milson, administrator of the occupation government, ordered the university closed after a meeting with Dr. Gabi Baramki, Bir Zeit vice president, at which Milson complained about an attack Monday on Zion Gabai, an Israeli education official.
Israeli officials said that Gabai had arranged a meeting with Baramki and other university officials to discuss "administrative matters," and that during the meeting a crowd of militant Palestinian students gathered outside Baramki's office to protest the meeting, Washington Post correspondent William Claiborne reported.
When Gabai left the meeting, military officials said, he was surrounded by students and pelted with rocks. His yarmulke was removed and burned by students before he drew a revolver and fired in the air, scattering the students.
Bir Zeit University sources said that Gabai had been asked to postpone the visit because of student unrest.
Faculty members of Bir Zeit said in telephone interviews that Gabai's appearance on campus was intended to spark a demonstration that would provide an excuse for closing the school.