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Let Gazans Take Advantage of Fulbright Grants, APN Demands

APN called on the government of Israel to allow students from the Gaza Strip, recipients of Fulbright grants, to travel to the United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 30, 2008
CONTACT:  Ori Nir - (202) 728-1893

Washington, D.C - Americans for Peace Now today called on the government of Israel to allow students from the Gaza Strip, recipients of Fulbright grants, to travel to the United States and take advantage of the scholarships. The organization also called on the U.S. government not to redirect Fulbright grants away from Gaza students. 

"The policies of both governments are shockingly counterproductive and should be immediately reversed," said Debra DeLee, APN's president and CEO. "If we want to encourage change in the Gaza Strip, we should triple the number of scholarships for Gazan students to study in the States rather than slash them," DeLee said.

The New York Times reported today that the State Department has withdrawn Fulbright grants to Palestinian students in Gaza, who were hoping to pursue advanced studies in the United States this fall, because Israel refused to grant these students permission to leave the Gaza Strip. The State Department, according to the report, redirected the grants away from Gaza.

"For some time there have been concerns that Israel's policy aimed at isolating Hamas' government in the Gaza Strip is turning into a practice of punishing the Gaza population, which is both morally wrong and politically short sighted. The current case is a stark illustration of this pattern. I hope that both governments would soon remedy this bewildering blunder," said DeLee.