FIRST ON FOX: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in coordination with the chancellor of the state’s university system, has moved to crack down on student groups in the state they say have expressed support for ‘Hamas terrorism,’ which possibly involves terminating the student chapters and suspending school administrators.
‘During a holy Jewish holiday, the recognized terrorist organization, Hamas, launched an unprovoked attack on Israel – among those killed were babies, women, and elderly,’ Ray Rodrigues, chancellor of the State University System of Florida, wrote in a letter to the state’s universities exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital.
‘To date, approximately 1,400 Israelis have been killed, including 31 American citizens. Governor DeSantis, our State University System and the Florida College System have condemned these attacks.’
The letter states that a student group present in at least two universities in the Florida system, known as National Students for Justice in Palestine (National SJP), published a ‘toolkit’ that refers to the Hamas operation as ‘the resistance’ and says that ‘Palestinian students in exile are PART of this movement, not in solidarity with this movement.’
The letter explains that it is a ‘felony under Florida law to knowingly provide material support … to a designated foreign terrorist organization.
‘These chapters exist under the headship of the National Students for Justice in Palestine, who distributed a toolkit identifying themselves as part of the Operation AlAqsa Flood,’ Rodrigues writes.
‘Based on the National SJP’s support of terrorism, in consultation with Governor DeSantis, the student chapters must be deactivated. These two student chapters may form another organization that complies with Florida state statutes and university policies. The two institutions should grant these two chapters a waiver for the fall deadlines, should reapplication take place.’
Rodrigues says in the letter that he will continue working with DeSantis’ office ‘to ensure we are all using all tools at our disposal to crack down on campus demonstrations that delve beyond protected First Amendment speech into harmful support for terrorist groups.’
‘These measures could include necessary adverse employment actions and suspensions for school officials,’ the letter states, adding, ‘promoting excellent educational quality while providing a safe environment for all students is paramount.’
DeSantis, a 2024 presidential candidate, has been a vocal proponent of cracking down on and condemning the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,400 Israelis. He recently said he would cancel student visas and deport foreign nationals who celebrate Hamas if he is elected president.
DeSantis is also planning to call for a special legislative session in Florida to increase state sanctions on Iran, the main financial supporter of Hamas.
Additionally, DeSantis allocated state resources to an evacuation operation that was responsible for chartering hundreds of stranded Americans in Israel on flights back to the United States in a move he touted as being more efficient than efforts by the Biden administration.
‘We were able to fill the void,’ DeSantis said. ‘There was no leadership. And so we stepped up, and we led.’