Violence between the supporters of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and his exiled political rival, Mohammed Dahlan, disrupted a graduation ceremony on Monday at Gaza-based Al-Aqsa University.
In the wake of the riot, the university administration announced that it decided to cancel all student activities for the remainder of the second semester. In a statement, the administration said it made the decision “in order to preserve the educational process within the university.”
The administration was quoted by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news service as blaming “youth groups from outside the university who stormed the campus” for causing the violence Monday.
According to the report, the “outside groups” attacked an event that was called by ‘Fatah Youth’ to “honor outstanding students on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the leader, Khalil al-Wazir Abu Jihad.”
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization ousted the rival Fatah faction in 2007 and the enclave has since been populated by a majority of Hamas supporters.
The university expressed its rejection and condemnation of the attack on the “sanctity of the university and its properties and the place of the event.” The administration added that it would “take all legal measures against anyone who caused and contributed to this work, which is outside the traditions and customs of the university, and the culture of the Palestinian people.”