Italy allows students to go to Hamas university in Gaza

Siena is the first in the world to send students to the Islamic University of Gaza.

Giulio Meotti

OpEds Gaza 'academia' (archive)
Gaza 'academia' (archive)
צילום: עצמי

Last November 12, EU co-operation officials in the Palestinian Arab territories and the EU Education Agency's officials launched the new Erasmus program between European and Palestinian Arab universities in Ramallah. Among the European academia involved there are Cork (Ireland), Siena (Italy), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Evora (Portugal) and the Union of the Mediterranean Universities in Rome. 

Siena is the first in the world to send students to the Islamic University of Gaza. A Siena delegation even visited the University of Gaza.

Except that the University of Gaza is not like the others.

“The university presents the philosophy of Hamas”, Jameela El Shanty, a professor at that university and politician in Gaza, told the Baltimore Sun. Founded by the Sheikh of Hamas, Ahmed Yassin, the university was accused by Israel of turning its laboratories into rocket factories, as well as serving as a venue for secret meetings of military leaders.

This is why Israel hit it in 2009. Al Fatah - the rival of Hamas - confiscated weapons from that university. Former Israeli intelligence officer Jonathan Halevi said the university is a “Hamas indoctrination” center. American MPs made interpolations on that university and Fatah accused Hamas of hiding Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit there.

The Anti-Defamation League revealed that the university held a conference on the “Islamic-Zionist conflict”. One of the participants, Riyadh Qassim of the University of Gaza, said that the defeat of Israel is a divine promise.

Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, also spoke at that event. Subhi Al Yaziji, dean of Koranic Studies at the University of Gaza, on TV said that “synagogues and schools” in Israel are legitimate targets, that “even Jewish children are fighters” and called for the Islamic conquest of the Vatican. In the same period during which the first Italian student left for Gaza, a professor of that university, Muhammad Suleiman al Farra, was on Al Aqsa TV (the Hamas' station) saying that all Israel is “a battlefield”.

One of the professors of that university knows something about that concept. His namei is Abdel Aziz al Rantisi, and he is the head of Hamas who organized suicide bombings in Israel. The Italian student is now specializing in emergency surgery in Gaza in the same department created by another of the chiefs of Hamas, the surgeon Mahmoud al Zahar.

Is it legitimate for my Italian fellow universities to establish links and exchanges with academic institutions used by an Islamist organization that pursues the destruction of Israel and the killing of the Jews, as was evidenced once again last month as it has in the last 30 years of Hamas' terror attacks?