Palestinian students at Birzeit University near Ramallah on Tuesday attacked the car of British Consul-General Sir Vincent Fean, smashing a mirror.
A Ma’an reporter saw a group of students gather in front of the administrative offices on campus where the consul general was at a meeting with university president Khalil al-Hindi.
When Fean left, students approached him chanting and screaming before his security guards surrounded him and prevented physical contact between the students and the consul general.
Some students were carrying rods, according to the reporter. As soon as he seated himself in the car, students attacked it with rods causing minor damage before the driver sped away.
The consul general was scheduled to take part in a symposium at the university, but the event was cancelled after the attack.
Student unions had expressed opposition to Vincent’s visit in protest of the UK’s position toward the question of Palestine.
A representative for the British Consulate in Jerusalem confirmed the incident.
“The British Consul General, Sir Vincent Fean, visited Birzeit University today. His intention had been to engage in an open dialogue with the student community about the UK’s policies in the Middle East.
“Sir Vincent had hoped to underline Britain’s deep commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state, and the urgency of progress on the peace process in 2013.
“Sadly, such a dialogue was not possible on this occasion. Sir Vincent remains absolutely committed to building his relationship with the Palestinian student community, and hopes to have the opportunity to pursue this dialogue in future,” the British representative said.
In 2000, students at Birzeit attacked the French prime minister, at that time Lionel Jospen, and injured him in the head. Students were angry at remarks Jospen made in Tel Aviv describing the Lebanese Islamist party Hizbollah as a terrorist organization.
The Palestinian preventive security service detained 19 students for interrogation.
(Ma’an – maannews.net)