Police Forcibly Remove Hundreds of Students Protesting Tuition Hikes

Police forcibly removed hundreds of university students who had been staging a demonstration in the center of town yesterday as part of a nation-wide strike against increased tuition fees. The police arrested 28 demonstrators, who were booked and later released.

The students at the Mt. Scopus campus of the Hebrew University set up a roadblock at an intersection Sunday, when the nation-wide strike began over the increase in tuition from an annual $900 to $1,150, leaving classrooms and lecture-halls empty.

Police here swung their night-sticks freely, and mounted officers charged with them into the ranks of the demonstrators. Jerusalem Police Superintendent Haim Albaldes, however, said his men had used “reasonable force” to end a demonstration which had spread beyond the confines of the area covered by its police permit.

In Haifa, striking Technion students blocking a main artery in the city were removed by police Sunday, but without real violence on the part of the police force.

Education Minister Yitzhak Navon said yesterday he supported the students’ demand to keep tuition at its original cost, although he did not support the tactics they were using to press this demand.

The Treasury said last night it was prepared for negotiation on the issue, but only after the strike ends. Finance Minister Yitzhak Modai said over the weekend that if Navon wanted to reduce the tuition fee, “I will be the last to object, ” but it was up to Navon to come up with an alternative cut in the education budget.

NEXT STORY