Undercover commandos on Wednesday captured the Palestinian student council head at a West Bank university for suspected involvement in terror activity, a Border Police spokesman said.
The daylight raid by Border Police officers dressed as Palestinian civilians on the campus of Birzeit University, near Ramallah, was caught on camera and shared widely on social media.
The student, Omar al-Kiswani, is a member of the Hamas terror group’s student faction at Birzeit, according to reports.
“The kidnappers, carrying firearms in their backpacks, entered the campus during working hours and attacked the student in front of the Student Council Building, located at the center of the campus,” Birzeit University said in a statement. “The operatives forced and pinned the student to the ground while firing their weapons, endangering lives.”
“Protecting this group’s intrusion into the university was an armed Israeli army unit. The unit detained the university’s guards in the guards’ room and proceeded to use their firearms against the students while providing cover for the kidnapping operation,” it added.
In a video of the incident, a group of men in civilian clothing can be seen wrestling a person to the ground, as other members of the group brandish pistols at onlookers.
At the end of the short clip, Palestinians could be seen clashing with Israeli soldiers maintaining a perimeter at the entrance to the university.
On social media, the video was compared to popular TV show “Fauda,” about undercover Israeli forces in the West Bank.
Reports said the commandos, members of the Border Police’s undercover unit, were disguised as Palestinian journalists.
An Israeli undercover unit arrested Omar Kiswani (Hamas), chairman of the student union at Birzeit University. The force pretended to be Palestinian journalists who coordinated an interview with him. pic.twitter.com/5VEVxzedSj
— Elior Levy • אליאור לוי (@eliorlevy) March 7, 2018
Birzeit University said the raid was a violation of international law.
“This is not the first violent intrusion by Israeli army forces, who systematically invade the university’s campus – even though it is specifically protected under international humanitarian law – and constantly harass students, faculty members, and staff at Birzeit University and other Palestinian educational institutions,” it said.