US reinstates Gaza Fulbright grants

Abdullah says said he could not be truly happy until the other 600 or so Palestinians in Gaza with grants to study abroad also got out.

US reinstates Gaza Fulbright grants
The American State Department has reinstated seven Fulbright grants offered to Palestinians in Gaza for advanced study in the United States, reversing a decision to withdraw the scholarships because of Israel's ban on Palestinians' leaving Gaza for study abroad, The New York Times reported on Monday.

The American Consulate in Jerusalem sent e-mail messages on Sunday night to all seven telling them it was "working closely" with Israeli officials to secure them exit permits.

Maj. Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Israeli "Defense" Ministry's office of civilian affairs, said the Palestinian students would be granted permits after individual security checks.

Abdulrahman Abdullah, one of the Fulbright recipients in Gaza, said that when the consulate's e-mail message arrived he had been in the middle of corresponding with Fulbright winners around the world who were mounting a campaign in support of the Gazans.

"Suddenly I got this e-mail, and then I told them I had succeeded in this long battle," he said. Mr. Abdullah, 30, had been trying to get a grant for five years and plans to pursue an M.B.A. at one of several American universities.

Like the others who got the good news on Sunday, however, he said he could not be truly happy until the other 600 or so Palestinians in Gaza with grants to study abroad also got out.

On Monday, Israel's Supreme Court will hear petitions brought by Gisha on behalf of two students seeking exit permits for study programs in Germany and Britain. Since January, Ms. Bashi said, almost no students have gotten out of Gaza for such study.

PMC

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Haziran 2008, 16:58
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