Diakonia - People change the world

Al Mezan's successful work helps students in Gaza

Al Mezan, one of Diakonia's partner organizations in Palestine has succeeded in helping four Master's students from Gaza to be able to study at Birzeit University in the West Bank. For the first time in 12 years the Israeli Supreme Court orders military to reconsider application of Gaza-West Bank student ban.

5/31/2012 Publisher: Ingela Karlsson

The first time in 12 years

In May 2012 the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the Israeli military to reconsider its refusal to allow four female Master's students from Gaza to reach their studies at Birzeit University in the West Bank.

The decision marks the first time in 12 years that the court has indicated a willingness to intervene in the sweeping ban on Palestinian students from Gaza pursuing studies at Palestinian universities in the West Bank. The petition was submitted by the human rights organizations Gisha and Al Mezan.

Encouraging step towards ending collective punishment

Al Mezan's Director General Issam Younis described the court’s decision as:

"an encouraging step towards ending the arbitrary and collective punishment of students from the Gaza Strip, and enabling them to realize their right to attend Palestinian universities in the West Bank."

Violates international law

Israel controls all points of access to the West Bank, so students from Gaza wishing to reach universities there require Israeli permission.

The comprehensive travel ban violates Israeli obligations under the international law of occupation as well as an Israeli commitment, in the framework of the Oslo Accords, to respect the integrity of Gaza and the West Bank as a single territorial unit.