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Israeli Soldiers Disperse Demonstrators Protesting the Closing of Bir Zeit University

Israeli soldiers used tear gas yesterday to disperse Arab demonstrators and their Jewish supporters in Ramallah protesting the closure of Bir Zeit University by the Israeli authorities last week. According to local sources, several journalists and demonstrators were roughed up by the troops. Seventeen persons were detained.

Five Jewish members of the Public Committee of Solidarity With Bir Zeit were arrested in Jerusalem yesterday after demonstrating outside the home of Menahem Milson who heads the new civil administration on the West Bank. They were released today after their attorney appealed to the Supreme Court on grounds that their detention was illegal.

Bir Zeit University, regarded as a hotbed of Palestinian nationalism, was shut down last week after a representative of the Israeli civil administration was reportedly beaten up by students on the campus. The university had been closed for two months late last year because of anti-Israel demonstrations by the students and had been reopened barely six weeks when the second shut-down was ordered.