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Islamic University of Gaza

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Islamic University of Gaza
الجامعة الإسلامية غزة
Islamic University of Gaza (logo).png
PresidentProf. Nasser Ismail Farahat[1]
Administrative staff
ColorsWhite and green

The Islamic University of Gaza (Arabic: الجامعة الإسلامية بغزة), also known as IUG and IU Gaza, is an independent Palestinian university established in 1978 in Gaza City. The university has eleven faculties capable of awarding BA, BSc, MA, MSc, MD, diplomas and higher diplomas.[3]

The Islamic University of Gaza is a member of four regional and international associations of higher education, which are the International Association of Universities, the Community of Mediterranean Universities,[4] the Association of Arab Universities[5] and the Association of Islamic Universities.[6]

A large part of the Islamic University of Gaza was damaged by air strikes during the 2008-2009 Gaza war and the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.[7]

Donor institutions[edit]

The university has accepted donations from institutions such as the Arab Student Aid International, United Palestinian Appeal, Islamic Relief, the British Council, the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and Human Appeal International.

The university has accepted donations from the Middle East Children's Alliance for its rebuilding efforts.[8]


The Islamic University of Gaza has eleven faculties:[9]

Postgraduate studies[edit]

The Islamic University of Gaza awards Master of Science and Master of Arts degree in the following areas and majors:

  • Faculty of Engineering awards master's degrees in the following majors: (civil engineering/infrastructure, civil engineering/construction management, civil engineering/structure, design & rehabilitation of structures, electrical engineering/control systems, water resources engineering, civil engineering/construction management.
  • Faculty of Medicine offers post-graduate diplomas in Child Health and Nutrition for Physicians (DCHN), Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine, Obstetrics and Reproductive Health, Vascular Surgery, and Disaster Management for Health Professionals.[11]
  • Faculty of Science awards master's degrees in the following majors: mathematics, physics, water resources management. Also, the faculty of science awards masters in biological sciences with concentration on the following areas: zoology, microbiology, medical technology, botany and mycology.
  • Faculty of Commerce awards a Master of Arts degree in the two main majors of accounting and finance, and business administration. The business administration has the following concentrations: human resource management, marketing management, and financial management.
  • Faculty of Education awards a Master of Arts in the following majors: psychology, curricula and methodology, fundamentals of education, and rehabilitation sciences. The curricula and methodology has the following concentrations: mathematics, Arabic language, sciences, English, and instructional technology. The fundamentals of education has the following concentrations: Islamic education and educational administration.
  • Faculty of Art awards a Master of Arts degree in the following majors: literature, rhetoric and criticism, modern history, and Islamic history.
  • Faculty of Shariah and Law awards a Masters of Arts in the majors of foundations of jurisprudence, comparative jurisprudence, and Islamic jurisdicrion.
  • Faculty of Ussoul Eldeen awards a Master of Arts in the majors of hadith, aqidah, and Quran and their interpretation.

February 2007 incident[edit]

During fighting between Hamas and Fatah, the dominating party in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in February 2007, Fatah militia stormed the university and confiscated weapons and ammunition that were stored in the university. Palestinian television aired footage showing dozens of rocket-propelled grenade launchers, rockets, and assault rifles, as well as thousands of bullets which had been found inside the university.[12][13]

Damage by Israeli air strikes[edit]

Just after midnight on 28/29 December 2008 local time, the university was bombed in six air strikes by the Israeli Air Force during the 2008 Gaza War. An Israeli army spokeswoman told The Chronicle of Higher Education that university facilities were being used by Hamas to develop and store weapons including Qassam rockets used to target Israeli civilians. Hamas denied the Israeli allegation.[12][14] According to claims by the Israeli-based International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Hamas uses the university's laboratories to research and develop the Qassam rockets, in order to extend its range and lethality.[15]

The United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict examined the incident and disputed the Israeli claims, concluding that: "the mission also saw the destruction caused at the Islamic University and in other university buildings that were destroyed or damaged. These were civilian, educational buildings and the Mission did not find any information about their use as a military facility or their contribution to a military effort that might have made them a legitimate target in the eyes of the Israeli armed forces."[16]

Palestinian academics claim that the attack destroyed 74 labs, including, Microbiology, Hematology, Genetics, Medical Technology and Medical Chemistry Labs, Physics Labs, Environmental and Earth Sciences Labs, Biology Labs, Biotechnology Labs, Optics Labs, Chemistry Labs, Engineering Labs, and Engineering and IT buildings.[8]

In its response to the strike, the university announced in a press release on January 21, 2009, that the university is an independent institution of higher education in Gaza and the largest among the Palestinian institutions that serve 20,000 students as an accredited member of several regional and international academic associations and organization. According to the press release, the attack destroyed the Science and Engineering buildings and damaged several others. The university called upon academics, local, regional and international higher educational and human rights institutions to speak out against the attacks.[17] A number of international academic institutions have proceeded to express their commitment to support IUG as well as other universities in Gaza. The International Association of Universities, of which IUG is a member, has claimed to have written to the university to express its deep concern over the effects of the war, and to be ready to mobilize its member universities in support of the rebuilding efforts of the university. Similarly, Prof. Espen Bjertness of the University of Oslo and member of the Steering Committee of PEACE,[18] stressed that “the sad situation for all academics caused by the bombing of our member university, Islamic University, Gaza and of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program calls for appropriate action”.[19]

A large part of the university was also damaged by air strikes during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict. The Israeli army said it targeted a "weapon development" centre in the university.[20]

Relationship with Hamas[edit]

The Islamic University was co-founded by one of the future founders of Hamas, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin,[21] in 1978. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy wrote in a piece on USAID funding of organisations with possible links to terrorism that connections exist between the university and Hamas.[22]

Arguing against such ties were Marcy Newman and Akram Habeeb, who wrote for the Middle East Children's Alliance in 2009: "equally important for our American colleagues is to remove the false label that IUG is a "Hamas-controlled" institution. Just as Palestinians in Gaza belong to a variety of political parties, IUG's students, board, faculty and staff represent that reality. IUG is a university like any other in the Palestinian Territories that reflects the diversity of its population."[8]

Steven Erlanger, former Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times, described the IUG as "one of the prime means for Hamas to convert Palestinians to its Islamist cause,"[13] in a 2007 article about further Israeli airstrikes on the university. This report was criticised by political economist Sara Roy of Harvard University, who explicitly stated that 'there can be no question that Hamas works within the framework of Islamic institutions in the Gaza Strip, and that there are certain direct links between Hamas and many of the social and economic institutions (in the strip). ... However, it is far more questionable whether an automatic and inevitable link exists between Hamas and Islamic social and economic institutions, whether those links are inherently subversive, or whether such institutions promote radicalism and violence as is commonly assumed." Roy also writes: "logic maintains, institutional clients become automatically linked to Hamas and constitute a base of support for political Islam. As a result, Islamic social institutions become recruiting centers for the Hamas's military wing. There is however, little hard evidence to support any of these allegations.[23]

Copyright controversy[edit]

In July 2008, The Hook, a magazine in Charlottesville, Virginia, reported that the University of Virginia had taken legal action against the Islamic University of Gaza for allegedly purloining the website design of the University of Virginia.[24]


These photos were taken prior to the fighting beginning in 2007.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Welcome from the president". The Islamic University Gaza. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  2. ^ "About IUG". Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2007-07-07.
  3. ^ "About the Islamic University of Gaza". Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  4. ^ "CMU ngo". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  5. ^ "إتحاد الجامعات العربية :: عمان :: الأردن". Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Islamic University of Gaza". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  7. ^ "Israel strikes university in Gaza City". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Akram Habeeb and Marcy Newman (February 16, 2009). "Rebuilding the Islamic University of Gaza". Electronic Intifada.
  9. ^ "Islamic University of Gaza :: Faculties". Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  10. ^ "Islamic University of Gaza :: Faculty of Medicine > Faculty > Accreditations and Partnerships". Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  11. ^ "Islamic University of Gaza :: Faculty of Medicine > Academic Study > Post-Graduation > Higher Diplomas". Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  12. ^ a b "IRAN'S GAZA GOONS CAUGHT AT HELM OF BOMB FACTORY," by ANDY SOLTIS with Post Wire Services, New York Post, Feb. 3, 2007 [1] Archived 2008-12-04 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b "Gaza is hit with more Israeli airstrikes," by Steven Erlanger, New York Times, Friday, May 18, 2007 [2]
  14. ^ Jerusalem Post, Dec 29, 2008, IAF bombs Islamic University's R&D labs, By YAAKOV KATZ [3][permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Fighel, Jonathan (2009-02-01). "The Mujaheed Sheikh - Dr. Nizar Rayyan The Spiritual Mentor of Iz A-Din Al Qassam Brigades". International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  16. ^ United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict Archived 2009-06-07 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Islamic University of Gaza". Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  18. ^ "P.E.A.C.E. Programme". Archived from the original on 2013-01-29. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  19. ^ "P.E.A.C.E. Programme". Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  20. ^ "Israel strikes university in Gaza City". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  21. ^ December 29, 2008, "Israeli Airstrikes in Gaza Destroy 2 University Buildings," Chronicle of Higher Education [4]
  22. ^ August 24, 2007, "Better Late Than Never: Keeping USAID funds out of terrorist hands", Washington Institute for Near East Policy [5]
  23. ^ Sara Roy, Failing Peace, 2007, Pluto Press: London
  24. ^ "Copycat U: UVA fends off imitators". Retrieved 2008-08-23.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 31°30′47.23″N 34°26′25.64″E / 31.5131194°N 34.4404556°E / 31.5131194; 34.4404556