Gazan Palestinians awarded Fulbright grants will study in the United States after all.
The U.S. State Department on Sunday night reinstated the Fulbright grants offered to seven Palestinians in Gaza after informing them last week that the grants would be given to others for fear that they would be wasted if the students could not leave the area under closure by Israel, The New York Times reported.
Israeli officials said they were surprised at the action, saying that they considered Palestinian pursuit of higher education an important way to stop radicalism in the terrorist Hamas-run enclave and that they would work to expedite the students’ permission to leave. The students will have to undergo individual security checks.
The Israeli closure on Gaza is in reaction to the thousands of rocket and mortar attacks on southern Israel, and prevents Palestinians from leaving the area, except in medical emergencies.
About 600 other Gazans have grants to study abroad but have been unable to pursue them, the Times reported.