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A group of students, gathered in front of the rector's office in Paseo del Parque. Ñito Salas
Malaga university temporarily suspends ties with universities and research centres in Israel as student protest continues
Education

Malaga university temporarily suspends ties with universities and research centres in Israel as student protest continues

Meanwhile, work is being carried out to intensify UMA cooperation with the Palestinian scientific and higher education system and to extend the current arrangements

Francisco Gutiérrez

Malaga

Friday, 31 May 2024, 14:34

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The University of Malaga (UMA) has decided to temporarily suspend collaboration agreements with Israeli universities and research centres while the military offensive in the Gaza Strip continues, or until they receive a firm commitment of peace and strict compliance with international humanitarian law. This decision was taken by the university rector, Teo López, who informed the extraordinary governing council of this decision, in which a series of cooperation actions with Palestinian universities were also approved.

By virtue of his powers, the rector has decided to temporarily suspend existing agreements with Israeli universities, namely Tel Aviv University, Technion International University, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem University and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, until there is a clear position from the universities concerned, requiring them to pronounce a firm and unequivocal commitment to peace.

The rector convened an extraordinary meeting of the governing council to address the situation in the Gaza Strip.
The rector convened an extraordinary meeting of the governing council to address the situation in the Gaza Strip. Ñito Salas

The cooperation with these universities is carried out within the Erasmus+KA171 mobility programme (with non-EU third countries).

Meanwhile, work is being carried out to intensify cooperation with the Palestinian scientific and higher education system and to extend the current cooperation, volunteering and care programmes for the refugee population, as well as activities programmed in the centres. The vice-rector's office for research is also working to incorporate different actions in its own plan to strengthen cooperation and research networks with Palestinian universities.

Invited as guests representing the UMAxPalestine Network were lecturers Carolina Jiménez Sánchez, from the area of International Public Law and International Relations, and Rosa Isabel Martínez Lillo, from the area of Arab and Islamic Studies, who spoke about the conflict from their respective areas of knowledge and reiterated their willingness to continue collaborating with the University of Malaga, as they have been doing in recent weeks, in the analysis and future actions that arise in relation to this conflict.

With regard to agreements with Palestinian universities, there are mobility agreements with Al Quds University, Al Quds Open University, Birzeit University, AL-Aqsa University and a framework agreement with The Health Work Committees. Among the international cooperation projects, the UMA is developing the initiative 'The human rights of Palestinian women: stories of resilience in times of Covid 19', funded by the Andalusian Agency for International Development Cooperation.

Protest continues

The students, who have occupied the general library for 23 days, have gathered in front of the rector's office while this governing council was being held. Their spokespersons have assured that the protest actions will continue, as they consider the measures agreed to be insufficient.

The protestors demand a "clear and forceful" position from the University of Malaga against the genocide of the Palestinian people and the immediate cessation of all current and future relations with entities, such as banks, that maintain relations with Israel. The Malaga for Palestine platform has expanded its demands to put an end to the lockdown: they are also asking Malaga City Council to condemn the genocide and break off relations with Israel, while at the same time asking the UMA to provide permanent premises for this organisation.

The young people have denounced a strategy of "harassment and attrition" by the UMA against those locked in the general library. In front of the rector's office, they chanted 'Israel murders, the UMA sponsors' and 'the university cannot remain indifferent to the genocide in Palestine'.

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