Groundxero | November 7, 2023
Students occupied Naples Orientale University on Monday morning to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to cooperation between their university and all Israeli political, economic and military institutions, reported Peoples Dispatch.
The students in Italy are protesting Israeli genocide in Gaza and attacks on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank following Hamas’s October 7 attack in Israel. The occupation of the university comes amid ongoing Palestine solidarity rallies across Italy.
“We have decided to give a strong signal from here at the Oriental at a national and international level, because what is happening in Gaza and also in the West Bank territory is an extremely grave situation,” said a young woman who is one of the students involved.
The student declared: “What we are witnessing is a true genocide : while Gaza is cut off from food, water, fuel and medical supplies, the bombings continue day by day and indiscriminately, targeting homes, schools and hospitals.”
The students said, “We are seeing a harshening of the occupation and violence which the Palestinian people have endured for 75 years and the most absurd thing for us is the attitude of the media and governments, keeping hidden what is really happening.”
They said, “We denounce the behavior of our universities as ‘places of knowledge’. Today, we are hearing only one voice here, it’s the one of the Israeli government. With the occupation of our university, we bring the voices of the Palestinian resistance into it”, declared the students.
The protesting students continue : “It is under the eyes of everyone, the Israeli government is demonstrating its true intent, which is an ethnic cleansing.”
Since October 7, the Gaza enclave has been under incessant airstrikes and total siege by Israel forces, aided by the silence and complicity of the United States and its allies, including Italy. The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said on Monday that the civilian death toll from Israeli airstrikes had now crossed 10,000, almost half of whom were children.
The sit-in at the university has continued for a second day and students vow that they will continue until their demands are met.