The president of the largest university in the West Bank was expelled from the Israeli-occupied territory today for refusing to sign a statement promising not to provide any assistance to the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Munther Salah, the president of Najah University here, crossed into Jordan late this morning after telling a news conference that Israeli occupation authorities had embarked on "a well planned strategy to destroy the infrastructure of Palestinian society" in the West Bank.
Salah was the 16th faculty member at Najah to be expelled in the dispute over the anti-PLO pledge.
Israeli authorities are requiring foreign teachers at the three West Bank universities to sign the statement before they receive new work permits, and deporting those who refuse when their work permits expire. Salah, although born in Nablus, holds a Jordanian passport and is classified as a foreigner.
Last week, while relaxing some other measures dealing with education, Israel offered to revise the statement by deleting a reference to the PLO as a "terrorist organization." Salah and others here, however, said this remains unacceptable to the foreign teachers, who are demanding that the statement contain no direct reference to the PLO.
There were no classes at Najah today and the campus was quiet. University officials said that the presidency would be kept vacant both as a symbol of Salah's expulsion and in the hope he will be allowed to return later.