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An Education Denied: Report on the Impact of the Closure of Border Crossings on Students from the Gaza Strip Studying Abroad

Introduction

 The illegal, Israeli-imposed, closure of the Gaza Strip, severely impacts upon the ability of Palestinian students to pursue third-level education abroad. The closure denies students from the Gaza Strip access to educational institutions both in foreign countries, and in the West Bank, jeopardizing their educational future. Students denied permission to travel to further their education face an uncertain future; their suffering is compounded by the fact that they risk losing scholarships, or having their university registration cancelled.

 The closure of the Gaza Strip’s border crossings has deprived thousands of students of the opportunity to pursue further study in their chosen fields abroad. This restriction of third-level educational opportunities will have evident long-term repercussions for the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. Hundreds of students have been forced to sacrifice studying their chosen majors, in order to pursue the more limited options available in the Gaza Strip; this is a compromise which often comes into conflict with students’ skills, dreams, and ambitions. Arbitrary measures imposed by Israeli Occupation Force’s (IOF) have deprived thousands of Gazan students from beginning third level study in West Bank, while hundreds of other students have been denied permission to return to the West Bank to resume their studies. About 250 students from higher education levels (BA, MA, Ph.D), who study in universities abroad or have joined universities lately, are not able to travel abroad to continue their education at institutions and universities in various foreign countries[1].

 This report highlights the impact of the tightened IOF-imposed closure the Gaza Strip on the hundreds of university student, who have been denied access to universities in the West Bank, and around the world[2].

 Moreover, this report intends to draw the attention of the international community and international organizations, especially those concerned about human rights, to continuing illegal closure imposed by IOF on the civilian population in the Gaza Strip[3].

Download the report here.

 


[1] During closure
period, hundreds of students were not able to travel abroad for education. About 500 students could travel after severe
suffering in the past two years.

[2] In
addition to students’ suffering, the comprehensive siege and closure of border
crossings affect all aspects of life in the Gaza Strip. For more information on the impact of the siege
and closure of border crossings imposed on the Gaza Strip, see reports issued
by PCHR on state of the Gaza Strip border crossings on PCHR’s website: http://www.pchrgaza.org/portal/en/index.php?option=com_conten&view=category&id=638Itemid=227

[3]
The closure has been imposed continuously since June 2007. It is a form of
collective punishment, in explicit violation of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva
Convention. The far-reaching impact of the closure makes the attainment of
human rights in the Gaza Strip an impossibility.