Hamas bans Palestinian merit scholars from leaving Gaza


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas has barred a group of Palestinian teenagers awarded scholarships to study in the United States from leaving Gaza.

The eight students, aged 15-17, were chosen for merit scholarships to study in America for a year.

The Hamas minister of education denied their request to leave the country for “social and cultural reasons,” the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said last week in a statement. The center had been working to get the students out before the start of the school year. 

Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip, recently ordered aid workers and NGO employees to register with the government before traveling to work outside of the coastal strip.

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