British envoy forced to flee protesting Palestinian students

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Palestinian students physically barred the British consul general to Jerusalem from delivering a speech at Birzeit University and then charged his car as he tried to leave.

Oddly, given the students’ reaction, envoy Sir Vincent Fean had been expected to make a speech in favor of the creation of a Palestinian state, The Times of Israel reported.

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,” said one British consulate official, in a report by The Times of Israel. “Sadly, such a dialogue was not possible on this occasion.”

Students surrounded the facility while Mr. Fean was inside, speaking with the university president, The Times of Israel reported. The crowd surged as he exited the building, and campus security was called to the scene. Security surrounded him and led him to his car, as the students protested and pushed. Students the smashed the vehicle and tore off one of the exterior mirrors.

This is not the first student uprising against foreign ministers.

In 2000, The Times of Israel reports, students with the same university injured France’s envoy, Lionel Jospin, during protests over a public characterization he made of Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

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