Israel Blocks Thousands of Education-Seeking Palestinians from Leaving Gaza

Palestinians walk out of Israel’s Erez Crossing after leaving Gaza.

Gaza City, MINA – Palestinian Authority sources revealed on Friday that for the past few months, especially as Palestinian reconciliation efforts advanced, the Israeli Civil Administration began to tighten procedures for granting permits to over 16,000 citizens in the Gaza Strip.

According to, most Palestinians requesting departure are doing so for work or treatment reasons. Hundreds of university students – who study abroad- are getting their permits and face the threat of losing their right to attend school.

Gisha, an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents further backed the above claims with matching figures.

Gisha explained that in recent months it processed the files of dozens of university students that were facing bureaucratic hurdles set by Israeli authorities without any legal justification.

In the organization’s report, some 30 Palestinian university students petitioned the High Court of Justice to enable them to join their universities abroad.

As a result, permits were issued within two weeks.

But those who did not seek court action have not received a permit, and risk that they will miss out on their right to pursue their education.

Palestinian students will lose the opportunity because university studies started last month.

Among disadvantaged students is Iman Sweiti, a 35-year-old presenting her doctoral dissertation in the development of windmills for energy production, which has been accepted for research at the University of Cambridge.

Although the study began at the university last month, Israeli authorities are still refusing to issue a permit for her exit.

Gaza’s anti-siege popular committee head Jamal al-Khudari stressed that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip is worsening, as Israel steps up the blockade.

Commenting on reconstruction works after the 2014 aggression, Khudari said it was proceeding very slowly in light of the failure of donors to fulfill their financial obligations.

Khudari stressed in a press statement on Friday that Israel imposes a brutal and systematic siege targeting Palestinians in the basic details of daily life, economic, health, environmental, educational and other.

He said “the citizens of Gaza live under very difficult circumstances.”

Khudari added that Israel continues to ban goods and items belonging to 500 categories and prevent their entry into Gaza. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)