The Islamic Bloc, the student branch of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), won two victories in the elections for the student councils of Birzeit University in Ramallah and Al-Najah University in Nablus within a week at the major universities of the occupied West Bank.
The Islamic Bloc was able to influence the election results despite the authority’s tight security grip on their activities through all security services, which analysts and observers see as “a failure of the project to end the resistance in the West Bank” that has lasted for 15 years.
In an interview with Safa news agency, political analyst Muhammad al-Qeeq stated: “Despite the security pressure, it seemed clear that the students’ determination and will impose the elections file. This indicates that An-Najah University formed a complex security situation, but the students were able – despite being dragged, beaten, and assaulted by them and the academics – to Reverse the equation and fix elections in the university.
According to Al-Qeeq, university students are no longer concerned with facing political arrest, as evidenced by the fact that they moved to the Student Service Square and raised their voices in protest, as well as later records from the Hebron and Polytechnic Universities. Students at universities developed a clear strategy for mobilizing public support for the resistance and political detention.
According to him, “The occupation realizes that universities have a role in the arena of resistance, which means that it is a danger and a threat to it, and it considers this against its security policy.”
Al-Qeeq contends that the election process must be held in every organization, union, state, and institution because it has been successful in universities. Although it is a constructive manifestation of a student’s well within universities, it is limited to those institutions’ boundaries.
He emphasizes the necessity of expanding the experiment outside the university’s boundaries in order to establish a joint parliamentary and presidential chamber, among other things, because “without this, the military chamber of the factions will remain alone, without a political or diplomatic arm for it, and this is what weakens the resistance, which makes the street accept the anesthesia practiced by the authority.”
Al-Qeeq urges the expansion of the university experience beyond its four walls through the power of the people and the will of the factions, “with a clear political decision by the factions to have an elected political body from the Palestinians, far from political hypocrisy.”
a failed media campaign
According to activist Islam Abu Aoun, the ongoing propaganda and onslaught against Hamas have been ineffective “despite the movement being the target of a significant media campaign accusing it of neglect and negligence in the Gaza Strip.”
According to Abu Aoun, who spoke to Safa news agency, “Showing Hamas as if it had abandoned the resistance in favor of the Gaza Strip government through programmed and prepared propaganda did not deceive the students, who voted and presented Hamas primarily in the two largest and most important universities in the West Bank.”
According to Abu Aoun, “The win means support and more recognition for the resistance cause. While Fatah receded despite using names and symbols associated with resistance and conflict in their speech, two blocs connected to the resistance—Hamas and the Popular Movement—advanced with more than half of the seats. However, the resistance project received a majority vote from the students.”
In his statement, Abu Aoun claims that “the results of the elections proved the futility of the eradication project that the authority was carrying out against Hamas in the West Bank 15 years ago, and after this period it became clear to the street that eliminating Hamas is a kind of delusion.”
“The authority and Fatah have reaped counterproductive results for their policies in the West Bank,” he continued, adding that the Fund punishes those who engage in such intimidation because it makes challenges and persistence more difficult. The authority and Fatah are currently paying a price for the actions and postures they have taken, particularly the onslaught on prisoner welcome marches and martyr funerals.