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Students Demonstrating Against Higher University Fees Are Dispersed by Police Using Tear Gas

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Police used tear gas to disperse an unruly demonstration by Hebrew University students protesting increased tuition fees Wednesday. The Jerusalem demonstration followed a larger but slightly less unruly protest at Tel Aviv University Tuesday. Other protests are being organized in universities nationwide.

In Wednesday’s protest, the students were to have gathered on the campus and then marched in an orderly fashion to the Prime Minister’s office. But they suddenly swerved from their announced and licenced path and surged towards the Finance Ministry building and tried to enter.

Mounted and foot policemen used tear gas to force them back towards the Jerusalem Rose Garden north of the government complex. One student was injured in the clash and Uriel Ben-Hur, chairman of the Hebrew University Students Union, and seven other students were detained.

The students thereupon sat down on the ground and said they would not leave until their companions were released. Demonstrators were also arrested.

In Tuesday’s demonstration in Tel Aviv, a large police force clashed with thousands of students outside Tel Aviv University, when demonstrators protesting against increased university tuition fees tried to move their campus protest into the streets outside in a march towards the Haifa-Tel Aviv highway. Eight students were arrested, but there were no injuries.

Some 2,000 students, from Tel Aviv University with fraternal delegations from other universities throughout the country, opened their protest by singing songs on campus. Speakers protested plans to raise tuition fees again. They want the fees reduced from the present $1,300 a year level to the previous $800.

But the Finance Ministry demands an increase to $1,400, while the universities themselves say they cannot operate the establishments unless the fees are raised to match government subsidies.

The demonstrating students dispersed after the eight detained during a shoving match between police and students were released.

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