Palestinians say that the man arrested was the head of the university’s student union Omar Kiswani. The arresting force, disguised as Palestinian journalists, surrounded Kiswani near the union’s offices while classes were taking place under the pretense of conducting an interview with him.
As soon as the force revealed themselves, they drew pistols, fired into the air and snatched the detainee from the campus to IDF forces waiting nearby who covered their retreat as Palestinian students threw stones at the force.
Kiswani is the head of the Hamas student faction at Bir Zeit University. He recently won elections for president of the student union. He was previously arrested several times by Palestinian security forces.
Bir Zeit has long been known as a center of protest activity for Palestinian activists.
The Union of Journalists in Israel, however, voiced anger over the operation, announcing that it will contact the Commander of the Border Police to demand clarification regarding the forces disguising themselves as journalists.
The organization said: “This act endangers real journalists in their work and entails a violation of journalistic freedom. Journalists should not be endangered even for the sake of security operations.”