Israel bombed universities in Gaza

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By Talkmore Gandiwa

The educational landscape of Gaza, once a beacon of hope amidst adversity, now lies shattered and smoldering. The echoes of destruction reverberate across the densely populated strip as Israeli forces, relentless in their assault, have left a grim tally in their wake.

More than 5,479 students, 261 teachers, and 95 esteemed professors have tragically perished, their promising futures extinguished in the ruins. The toll of suffering continues to mount, with over 7,819 students and 756 educators scarred by injuries, casualties rising with each passing day.

Gaza’s universities, once bustling hubs of knowledge and aspiration, now stand as grim testaments to devastation. All 12 institutions, pillars of learning, have been ravaged by the merciless barrage of airstrikes and bombs, leaving a staggering 625,000 students bereft of access to education.

This deliberate obliteration of educational sanctuaries amounts to nothing short of scholasticide—a systematic eradication designed to extinguish the flames of enlightenment.

In addition to the universities, Gaza’s rich cultural tapestry has not been spared. Libraries, archives, and museums, repositories of Palestinian heritage, have been reduced to rubble or pillaged amid the chaos. These wanton acts, targeting civilian and cultural sites protected under international law, flagrantly violate humanitarian norms and constitute egregious war crimes.

Amidst the rubble, voices of outrage resonate from the international community. Ambassador Tamer Almassri’s impassioned plea seeks justice and accountability for these heinous acts. He implores the world to stand firm, demanding that those responsible for the destruction of educational institutions be held to account.

Rebuilding Gaza’s shattered educational infrastructure is not just a matter of restitution but a moral imperative—an investment in the future of a people resilient in the face of relentless adversity.

Yet, the onslaught extends beyond Gaza’s borders. In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, Palestinian educational institutions face recurring incursions and crackdowns.

The Israeli military’s actions, from raiding campuses to detaining students and faculty, betray a concerted effort to stifle intellectual freedom and suppress academic pursuits. These measures, calculated to disrupt the flow of knowledge and opportunity, underscore a broader campaign to undermine Palestinian aspirations and resilience.

Despite the onslaught, Palestinians boast one of the world’s highest literacy rates, a testament to their unwavering commitment to education amidst strife. Graduates and PhD holders emerge from the crucible of conflict, their thirst for knowledge undiminished despite the ruins that surround them.

The resilience of Gaza’s students, denied even the opportunity to sit for their final exams amidst the chaos, speaks volumes of their indomitable spirit in the face of adversity.

This tragic chapter in Gaza’s history is not an isolated incident but part of a broader narrative of cultural and intellectual oppression. Israel’s history of targeted assaults on Palestinian intellectuals and cultural figures resonates through decades of strife, a grim reminder of the ongoing struggle for sovereignty and recognition.

As the world bears witness to the devastation in Gaza, the scars of scholasticide serve as a rallying cry for justice. Beyond condemnation lies the imperative to act—to rebuild shattered institutions, to safeguard cultural heritage, and to ensure that the pursuit of knowledge remains a beacon of hope amid the ruins of war.

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