JERUSALEM, AUG. 13 -- Six foreign students, including two Americans, were arrested today during a protest against alleged Israeli police harassment of an international student group.
About 50 members of an annual summer program sponsored by Bir Zeit University in the Israeli-occupied West Bank marched to the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem, witnesses said. They were protesting a raid yesterday by Israeli troops against their camp, where about 80 foreign students and about 35 Palestinian youths participate in cross-cultural classes and work projects in Palestinian refugee camps, university spokesman Albert Aghazarian said. Aghazarian said Israeli security forces had burst into the camp at 1 a.m. yesterday, seeking to arrest some students.
Others in the group -- reportedly including Belgians, Dutch and Americans -- held a rally today at the U.S. Consulate to protest the alleged intrusion, but were dispersed with tear gas by police, who said the rally was unauthorized.
A Belgian and an English student were injured by police, according to Faris Bohafa of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Washington. An American witness, Tony Sullivan, said he saw police strike two men who were not resisting arrest as they were led to custody.
Two of the arrested students were Americans of Palestinian descent, Karima Bannoune and Samir al Fayid, according to Reuter.
Sullivan, a professor from Ann Arbor, Mich., said some students fled to a YMCA near the consulate, when "three or four soldiers pushed their way in and grabbed one." He said the youth offered no resistance, but the officers began hitting him.