Israeli police send Harvard students out of Palestinian village

JERUSALEM — Isaeli Border Police redirected a group of students from Harvard University from a Palestinian village for traveling on a security road.

The 55 students and the Palestinian activist guiding them were stopped Wednesday in Walaja and escorted to a nearby Israeli checkpoint. The bus was traveling along the route of the West Bank security fence in the village; the road is restricted to Israeli security vehicles. 

Tour leader and Walaja resident Shereen al-Araj, a known activist against the security fence, was arrested and held for several hours before being released on bail.

The students from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government were part of a yearly tour to Israel and the West Bank sponsored by the Palestine Caucus at the Kennedy School, according to the Harvard Crimson. 

“Harvard has been in touch with the U.S. State Department in regards to this matter to express its concern for the students’ safety,” the Kennedy School’s dean of students, Chris Fortunato, said in a statement, according to the student newspaper.