Ben Gurion University students postpone hunger strike

Bar-Ilan University president says if students continue strike, semester will automatically be null and void.

Students zion sq 298.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Students zion sq 298.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
As the student strike entered its 26th day on Wednesday, some 40 students from Ben Gurion University in the Negev postponed an open-ended hunger strike in Beersheba's Kiryat Hamemeshala (Government Compound) until Sunday. The students set up a tent encampment as part of their ongoing protests against the Shochat Committee's recommendation to raise tuition fees and urged fellow students from across the country to join them. However, they decided to postpone their hunger strike so as to give negotiations with the government another chance. The National Student Union has rejected the draft agreement proposed by the Prime Minister's Office to end the strikes in universities and colleges across the country. "Their insistence on raising tuition fees and setting up a destructive mechanism for the educational establishment is plain to see. Classes will not resume, and protests will continue until the government's sanity is restored or until its complete collapse," read a statement released by the union. Bar-Ilan University President Prof. Moshe Kaveh said Tuesday that if the students did continue their strike, the semester would automatically be null and void. In an interview with Israel Radio, Kaveh said that "the Committee of University Presidents has not given an ultimatum to the students, but if the students already missed a third of the semester - it can't go on like this." He called on the students to end the 25-day-old strike and resume negotiations.