'Islamic cell' harassing female Bedouin students in Israeli university thwarted

Ben-Gurion University President Daniel Chamovitz revealed that three students continually harrassed female Bedouin students for their "lack of modesty." 

 Bedouin students at Ben Gurion University in Beersheeba (photo credit: KITRA CAHANA/FLASH90)
Bedouin students at Ben Gurion University in Beersheeba
(photo credit: KITRA CAHANA/FLASH90)

Ben-Gurion University (BGU) recently thwarted an Islamic cell acting as a mishmeret tzniut (modesty patrol) for female Bedouin students at the Beersheba university.

During a Shabbatarbut cultural event in the Negev's capital, BGU President Daniel Chamovitz revealed that three students continually harrassed Bedouin students for their "lack of modesty." 

The students, who Chamovitz likened to an Islamic cell, were "dealt with" following complaints filed by the students harassed by them, the university's president stated.

"They were taking photos of the students and sending them back to their families if they were not dressed modestly enough for their liking," Chamovitz said, adding that the situation was "complicated" by the social taboos preventing the female Bedouin students from complaining in public. 

"We found our method of handling the issue," Chamovitz said. "We threatened them and they backed down...we did not file a complaint, as we feel it should be done by the victims."

Students relax with friends at Ben Gurion University in Beersheba (credit: DUDU GREENSPAN/FLASH90)Students relax with friends at Ben Gurion University in Beersheba (credit: DUDU GREENSPAN/FLASH90)

Chamovitz refused to answer whether the three students are still studying at BGU.

"This is one of the incidents better handled behind closed doors," Chamovitz said. He claimed that this "type of behavior no longer exists at the university," something Chamovitz is "very proud of."

Chamovitz also spoke on reactions within the university to the terror attack in Beersheba last week that took the lives of four Israelis.

"All the students, Jewish Israelis and Arab-Israelis, held a memorial event for the victims a day after the attack," the BGU president revealed.

Tension between the students is inevitable, Chamovitz confessed. "Nothing can be perfect in this situation...but the tension is projected from Israeli society."