UK

Palestinian Students Protest Visit Of British Diplomat Sir Vincent Fean At Birzeit University, Ramallah

05/03/2013 14:15 GMT | Updated 05/03/2013 14:51 GMT

Angry Palestinian students blocked the car of a British diplomat, allegedly smashing the wing mirror, to protest a speech he was due to give at a West Bank university.

The consul general, Sir Vincent Fean, was to speak at Birzeit University, but students staged a sit in to protest British policies in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, blockading the diplomat's way into the university building, chanting and waving flags.

vincent fean

Pictures posted on a Facebook group of students protesting against the visit of Sir Vincent Fean

Security guards escorted Fean back to the car, which drove off, and the talk was cancelled, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an, who reported that the wing mirror of the car was smashed.

Photo of the demonstration were posted on the Facebook group "Islamic Bloc At Birzeit University", alongside a statement which read: "The Birzeit University students today expelled the British consul, who came to the university to give a lecture about the European Union at the invitation of the Department of Sociology.

"Hundreds of students staged a sit-in at the invitation of the student blocs in front of the university administration building where the consul was received by the university president.

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The scene at Birzeit University, near Ramallah

"The sitters demanded lecture be cancelled, to protest the policies of Britain in support of the Zionist entity, which caused the plight of the Palestinian people and their continued suffering, and because of the infamous Balfour Declaration.

"The students carried pictures of prisoners and banners condemning the policies of Britain.

"This is a message to the world."

A Foreign Office spokesman told HuffPost UK: "The British Consul General visited Birzeit University today, where his intention was to engage in open dialogue with the student community there and communicate the UK's policies in the Middle East.

"In particular, he very much hoped to underline Britain's deep commitment to a Palestinian state and to the peace process. Sadly, such a dialogue was not possible on this occasion. Sir Vincent hopes he will have to opportunity to do that again in the near future."