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Belgian Academics Protest Closure of Palestinian University Offices by Israelis


We, Belgian academics, researchers and university members, strongly protest against the raid by the Israeli police forces upon and closure of the offices of the Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem, July 9th. This is a severe violation of academic freedom as well as yet another provocative and arbitrary action, further embittering the already tense relations between Israelis and Palestinians.  We express our great solidarity with Colleague Sari Nusseibeh, president of the Al-Quds University and tireless spokesman for a peaceful solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We call upon academics worlwide, and upon Israeli academics in particular, to make their protest known.

  • Prof. Philip Van Loocke, Ghent University (RUG), dpt of Philosophy,
  • Prof. Koen Raes, RUG, dpt of Philosophy,
  • Em.Prof. Etienne Vermeersch, RUG, dpt. of Philosophy,
  • Rob Vanderbeeken, RUG, dpt. of Philosophy,
  • Jan Dumolyn, RUG, dpt. of History,
  • Prof. Eric Vanhaute, RUG, dpt. of History,
  • René Vermeir, RUG, dpt. of History,
  • Lieve Orye, RUG, dpt of Comparative Cultural Science,
  • Prof. Mark Janse, RUG, dpt of Latin and Greek,
  • Prof. Patrick Collard, RUG, dpt. of Spanish literature,
  • Maarten Van Dyck, RUG,
  • Prof.Johan De Baets, RUG,
  • Prof. Piet Saey, RUG, dpt of Geology,
  • Prof. Johan Mertens, RUG, dpt of Ecology,
  • Prof. Cyriel Verbruggen, RUG,
  • Peter De Keyzer, RUG, member of Board of Direction,
  • Prof. Patric Jacobs, RUG, dpt of Geology,
  • Prof.Michel Vanhoorne, fac. of medicine, Ghent University (RUG),
  • Prof.Rik Pinxten RUG, dpt Comparative Cultural Science,
  • Prof. Gertrudis Van de Vijver, RUG, dpt Philosophy,
  • Marjanne Sevenant, RUG, dpt Geography,
  • Guy Dupont, RUG,
  • Prof.Dr.Morgan DE DAPPER, Ghent University, Department of Geography Research Unit 'Physical Geography, Geomorphology & Geo-archaeology of Mediterranean and Tropical Areas',
  • Em.Prof. Jan Kerkhofs, Catholic Univ. of Louvain (KUL),
  • Prof. Jef Verhoeven, KUL,
  • Em.Prof. Albert Martens, KUL, dpt. of Sociology,
  • Peter Tom Jones, KUL, dpt. MTM,
  • Em. Prof. Lode van Outrive, KUL, fac. of Law,
  • Staf Peeters, KUL,
  • Liliane Voyé, Professeur Ordinaire, Université Catholique de Louvain,Belgium,
  • Karel Dobbelaere, Emeritus Professor, Catholic University of Leuven(KUL),Belgium,
  • Bert Cornillie, KUL,
  • Prof.Kristel Beyens, Free Univ. of Brussels (VUB),
  • Prof. Evelyne Namenwirth, VUB, fac. of Letters,
  • Prof. Annie Boone, VUB, fac. of Letters,
  • Saddie Choua, VUB,
  • Dimokritos Kavadias, Free University of Brussels (VUB),
  • Meyrem Almaci, VUB,
  • Prof. Dr. Irina Veretennicoff, VUB, Department of Applied Physics and Photonics,
  • Prof. Fred Louckx, Free Univ. of Brussels (VUB), <>
  • Prof. Werner Callebaut, Scientific Manager Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Altenberg, Austria, <>

Org.: Prof.Ronald Commers (RUG), Prof.Eric Corijn (VUB) & Prof.Herman De
Ley (RUG)

Prof. Herman De Ley,
Centre for Islam in Europe (CIE),
Ghent University,
Dpt. Philosophy & Moral Science,
2, Blandijnberg, B-9000 Gent/Belgium
tel. & fax: +32 9 371 94 38
CIE website:


Palestinian university building closed by Israelis

Staff and agencies
The Guardian
July 12, 2002


Israeli forces closed an administration building of a Palestinian university in Jerusalem this week, confiscating files, academic documents and computers.

The order to close the building at Al-Quds University came from the minister of the interior security, Uzi Landou.

The university's president, Sari Nusseibeh, is the Palestinian Authority's commissioner for Jerusalem affairs and the senior Palestinian Authority representative in Jerusalem. He was in Athens attending a conference at the time of the closure.

The Israeli ministry of public security issued a statement, saying: "Sari Nusseibeh's offices in Al-Quds University are recognised as representing the offices of the Palestinian Authority operating within the sovereign area of Israel. He is ordered to stop all activities and close his offices effective immediately."

The university issued a statement condemning the "crude and aggressive action against a purely academic institution" and called on the international and academic community to "exert pressure on the Israeli government to stop all its aggressive acts against the Palestinian academic institutions in general and Al-Quds University in particular". The university also asked for the immediate cancellation of the order to close and the return of all confiscated items.

The closed offices serve all of the university's departments, which are spread across Jerusalem. Thirty people work in the office and are responsible for providing administrative support and services to 720 university employees and more than 6,000 students.