U.S. cancels scholarship program for Gaza students

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An American scholarship program for students in the Gaza Strip was canceled.

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The program, launched two years ago by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was canceled over the summer due to pressure from Israel, The Associated Press reported Monday.

The program offered some 30 scholarships to Palestinian high school seniors from Gaza and the West Bank to study in local Palestinian universities.

Last school year, Israel refused to give permits to the Palestinian students in Gaza to travel to the West Bank for school. The decision was upheld last month by Israel’s Supreme Court.

The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem told the AP that it decided not to award the scholarships this year due to Israel’s refusal to allow the Gaza students to travel to the West Bank.

The scholarship program is run by the nonprofit group Amideast.

Last year Hamas, which controls Gaza, also prevented seven high school students from traveling to the United States for a year of study. The reason provided was concern that they would not be properly supervised from an Islamic perspective.

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