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Israeli policies ‘damaging’ Palestinians’ education

ISRAEL is damaging Palestinian education through its “abusive” practice of blocking foreign nationals from entering the occupied territories, a campaign group warned on Thursday.

The Campaign for the Right to Enter the Occupied Palestinian Territory expressed concern over a sharp rise in the denial of visas for international academics. Many have been forced to leave the country due to a range of arbitrary demands and conditions.

“Palestinian educational institutions have been hard hit by Israeli denials or restrictions on entry and presence in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the group said.

It explained that this “undermined Palestinian universities’ ability to attract further external expertise,” with international academics deterred from accepting teaching and research posts.

The group warned that, in June, almost  a third of the international staff at Birzeit University were refused extension visas by the Israeli authorities.

It demanded an immediate halt to Israel’s arbitrary and abusive practice of denying entry to foreign academics and called on the international community to “stand with us in protecting the Palestinian people’s right to education.”

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