Najah University, Al-

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Palestinian university located in Nablus, in the West Bank. Founded in 1918 as an elementary school, it became a secondary school in 1941 and a two-year community college in 1963. In 1977 it was reconstituted as a university and renamed. Today al-Najah has ten undergraduate faculties, a graduate faculty and a number of technical and professional centers, and continues to operate a separate community college. In addition to the main campus, there is an agricultural campus in Tulkarm and a new campus under construction west of Nablus that will house the medical school, a teaching hospital and a number of other facilities. Al-Najah is the largest university in the West Bank, with over 10,000 students. The student body at the university, as at most Palestinian schools, is politically engaged. As a large school drawing from a wide area of the West Bank, it is greatly affected by the obstacles placed in the way of travel by Palestinians, as well as by the depressed economy. During the first Intifada (1987–1993) the university was declared a "closed military area" by the Israelis; no classes were held from 1988 to 1991. It has also been the object of military action more recently, particularly during the Israeli reoccupation of West Bank cities in 2002.

SEE ALSO Intifada (1987–1993).