Sussex students freed

April 12, 2002

Ten students from the University of Sussex have returned to Britain after being trapped in the West Bank town of Ramallah during the Israeli army incursion.

The students were among activists who entered refugee camps in the town - from where several suicide bombers have hailed - to act as a human shield, in the hope that an international presence would deter Israeli soldiers from maltreating Palestinians.

The army launched its military operation in the West Bank last month in a failed attempt to halt suicide bombings.

The students included Dan Glazebrook and Sukant Chandon, student union president and education officer, respectively. They described their trip as one that "began as a mission to build links between us and students at Ramallah University but turned out to be an eye-opening lesson in Israeli political methods".

Aisa Kiyosue, a University of Bradford student who was shot in the leg last week, has been rescued from Bethlehem in a US-led diplomatic operation.

Mortaza Sahibzada, a research fellow at Imperial College, London, was also trapped in the Bethlehem Star hotel when Israeli forces laid siege to the Church of the Nativity, said to be built on the spot where Jesus was born. He told the BBC that 1,000-odd troops in Manger Square were preventing people from leaving the church and were firing on the hotel.

Dr Sahibzada's whereabouts were unknown as The THES went to press. The college said it was expecting him back on Monday.

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