The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed on Wednesday 11 October that it had bombed the Islamic University of Gaza and released a video of a building being targeted by an air strike.
The IDF press statement said it had “struck an important Hamas operational, political and military centre in Gaza – the Islamic University”.
The video shows four buildings being hit by what appear to be consecutive targeted air to ground missiles which exploded on impact. AFP later reported that a university official confirmed that “some of the buildings were completely destroyed”, according to an MSNreport.
The IDF alleged: “The university was being used as a Hamas training camp for military intelligence operatives, as well as for the development and production of weapons.”
The IDF said that Hamas “used university conferences in order to raise funds for terrorism” and that the university “maintained close ties with the senior leadership of Hamas”.
The Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education and Research issued a statement on 11 October condemning direct attack on the buildings and facilities of two universities, the Islamic University and the Al-Azhar University, also located in the Gaza Strip.
“This in turn caused serious damage to the infrastructure of the two universities,” it said. University World News has no further details on the attack on Al-Azhar University.
The Islamic University of Gaza issued a statement on 10 October saying: “Large parts of the buildings of the Islamic University of Gaza were subjected to major damage and severe material losses” as a result of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City on 9 October.
“The building of the College of Information Technology, the building of the Deanship of Community Service and Continuing Education, and the building of the university’s College of Science were all exposed to damage,” read the statement.
Israel had bombed several ministries, headquarters and government institutions adjacent to the university on Monday, causing severe damage to the surrounding area in which the university is located.
In its statement, the university called on all institutions, organisations and international bodies “to intervene quickly, and to work hard to protect the institutions that serve all the Palestinian people from these attacks” and “work immediately to guarantee the right of students to safe education”.
The Islamic University of Gaza is a member of several regional and international associations and networks of higher education, including the International Association of Universities, the Mediterranean Universities Union, the Association of Arab Universities, the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World and the Global University Network for Innovation.