CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
NEWS BLOG : August 27, 2008
Jerusalem — A bomb exploded on Tuesday at Al-Azhar University, in the Gaza Strip, causing damage but no casualties.
The blast occurred in a classroom on the first floor of the humanities building. The room had just been vacated by students who were taking an examination, according to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, an independent organization known as PCHR.
Al-Azhar is a secular university politically affiliated with the Fatah movement headed by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. The human-rights organization described the attack as part of the continuing “security chaos” in Gaza that involves sporadic and sometimes deadly clashes between rival supporters of Fatah and Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip last year.
“It is worth noting that acts of violence were reported on Sunday, 24 August 2008, between supporters of Hamas and Fatah blocs at the university, in which a number of students and administrative staff members were attacked,” the group said in a statement.
“PCHR is gravely concerned over this latest attack, which is part of the state of security chaos prevailing in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,” the group said. “PCHR calls for respecting university life and academic freedoms.” —Matthew Kalman