Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh / Flash 90
Armed Gunmen in Shechem. December 13, 2021.

Israel’s combined security forces have recently uncovered and thwarted an infrastructure of activists from a Hamas student cell from the A-Najah University in Shechem (Nablus), IDF Spokesperson for Arab Media Lt. Col. Avichay Adraee revealed Tuesday.

A-Najah is one of the most prestigious universities in the Palestinian Authority.

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Hamas’ student body, the “Kitla Islamia” (Islamic Bloc), is a collective name for Hamas student cells in institutions of higher education in the Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF has recently arrested 11 members of Hamas’ student body involved in a number of subversive activities for Hamas in Judea and Samaria, including the transfer of funds, organizing rallies in support of Hamas, and incitement campaigns under the supervision and direction of senior Hamas officials.

Adraee explained that joining the Islamic Bloc means recruiting students to Hamas’ ranks, adopting its ideological line, being ready to work for it, and Hamas covering university tuition fees for its members.

In recent years, Israel’s security agencies exposed a number of military cells that were planning terror operations whose members belonged to the Islamic Bloc at A-Najah University.

TPS has recently reported that one of the most worrying phenomena for the Palestinian Authority and security elements in Israel is the violence that is currently erupting on campuses and universities, where the power of the “Kitla Islamia,” Hamas’ student body, is very strong.

The universities, which were the main focal points of terrorism in the second intifada, have emerged in recent weeks as a significant focal point of opposition to the Palestinian Authority.

Fatah sources told TPS that the very serious incidents of violence recently uncovered at a number of Palestinian universities may indicate that Hamas is behind at least some of the incidents and is encouraging its “Islamic Bloc” student body to raise its head against Abbas’ rule.

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Aryeh Savir is director of the International division of Tazpit News Agency.