West Bank closing sparks protest

Israel's closure of the Palestinian Bir Zeit University this week -- the second two-month shutdown this academic year -- prompted widespread demonstrations on the West Bank Wednesday, Monitor correspondent John Yemma reports.

Several Israeli policemen were injured by rocks and flying glass, and six Palestinians were arrested in the worst clashes in two months.

The university was closed Feb. 16 after allegations that an employee of the Israeli Civil Administration was beaten by students while leaving the campus. In effect, Palestinian students now have been denied half the academic year.

There are fewer soldier-student confrontations now than there were during the ''iron fist'' days between May 1980 and August 1981. But analysts believe the goal is the same: to keep Palestinian nationalism from coalescing.

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