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Supreme Court Upholds Closure of West Bank University

The Supreme Court today upheld a Defense Ministry order shutting down Bir Zeit University near Ramallah on the West Bank which the Israeli authorities say is a hotbed of Palestinian nationalist activity. The institution was closed yesterday after two days of disturbances on the campus and faculty and students were ordered to leave the premises immediately.

The high court’s ruling rejected an appeal by the university against the closure. However, the justices advised the Defense Ministry that it must state just how long Bir Zeit is to remain closed. The court implied thereby that if the period is too long it would be prepared to hear another appeal.

Defense Ministry sources said today that strong measures had to be taken against the university and indicated that it would be closed for a long time. It was shut down for several months last year following similar campus unrest and was allowed to reopen only after the university authorities committed themselves to prevent student demonstrations.

Gaby Baramky, vice president of the university

charged today that his institution was being made a scapegoat, noting that demonstrations had occurred at other schools which remained open.

STUDENTS DEMONSTRATE ON GOLAN

Meanwhile, disturbances flared on the Golan Heights today where Druze high school students being taught Hebrew and other Israel-related subjects demonstrated against their teacher. They claimed that the instructor, an Israeli Druze, insulted them and marched on the school. They were turned away at a roadblock but shouted anti-Israel slogans before returning to their villages.

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