Hebrew University Students' 'Lives are in Danger'

Knesset discusses dangers to Jewish students in Jerusalem's Mount Scopus campus from neighboring Arabs.

Yaakov Levi,

Hebrew University protest on security collapse (file)
Hebrew University protest on security collapse (file)
Uri Lenz/Flash 90

A Knesset Committee on Tuesday discussed the threat of terrorist attacks felt by Jewish students at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

The Knesset Committee on Public Complaints, headed by MK Adi Kol (Yesh Atid), heard testimony from students who say they feel that “their lives are in danger.”

Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus is located adjacent to several Arab neighborhoods, and is connected to French Hill, where Arab residents have recently rented apartments. In addition, many of the students commute to their studies via the light rail, which in recent months has seen countless attacks by Arab assailants, culminating in several car attacks on rail stations by Arab terrorists.

“Many students have filed complaints about this,” said Kol. “Security in the Mount Scopus area is not good, to say the least, and students are expecting the security establishment to take action to ensure their safety. Many students also say they have complained to the University, which has not been sufficiently responsive.”

In response, Shmulik Dahan, head of security at the University, said that it was the responsibility of police to deal with the problems. When asked what campus security was doing to keep criminals and terrorists off the school grounds, he said that “we have between 5,000 and 15,000 students at the University each day, and the administration spends tens of millions of shekels on security. I cannot examine every single person entering the campus when there is a long line of people waiting to get in.”

Dahan added that in recent months, campus security had beefed up its activities, and as a result there was a drop of between 50% and 70% in the number of complaints filed by students in October, compared to the same month a year earlier.

Police official Yuval Reuven, speaking at the meeting, said that police “needed to ensure a balance between the security needs of students and the civilian population. We utilized a number of methods, including technological ones, to ensure safety."

"In recent months we have made sure that hundreds of police are on duty, enforcing the law. I believe that the campus will soon return to its previous state of quiet,” he added.




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