Wassam Madhun

Doctorate candidate from Gaza refused entry into Israel

A 28-year-old resident of Gaza, married with 3 children, prevented from going to interview at TAU for doctorate program

"The Israeli government's policy and that of its various authorities is not to allow Gaza Strip residents entry to Israel, except in unique humanitarian circumstances. This is based on the law and is a reasonable and acceptable policy."


This was the State's response to a petition filed to the High Court on behalf of a Gaza resident who was refused entry into the country to go to an interview at Tel Aviv University for the doctorate program.


The resident, 28-year-old Wassam Madhun, wants to study for a doctorate degree in environmental studies. Attorney Neta Oren, from the State Prosecution, who wrote the ruling added a clarification to the state's position.


She wrote: "Since Septeber 2000, an armed conflict has been going on against the State of Israel, its citizens and residents. As part of this conflict, the Palestinian side – including its various organization – terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli citizens and residents, including men and women, old people and children.


"Since IDF forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip, there has been an escalation in armed operations against Israeli citizens and currently, we are in the midst of another escalation akin to war," she stated. 


'We live under the same sky'

Gisha, the Center for Legal Protection of Freedom of Movement, is the the NGO that filed the petition on behalf of Madhun. Members of the organization said that the position of the State and the IDF is in opposition to the standpoint of the Israeli academia.


"Israel is angry at the British appeal for an academic boycott but is, in affect, posing an academic boycott on the Palestinians," said Madhun.


"Studying in Tel Aviv is my only chance to develop as a researcher in environmental studies. I cannot study for a doctorate degree in Gaza or in the Palestinian Authority, and as the provider of my family, I cannot study abroad," he stated.


Madhun would like to specialize in air pollution. He added: "This policy is unfair and is not smart. We have an opportunity to create personal and academic connections and to build a better future for Israelis and Palestinians. In my case, there is also a possibility for cooperation in environmental issues and air pollution. After all, we live under the same sky."


Professor Kenneth Mann, chairman of Gisha's advisory committee said: "It is unacceptable that a student with academic achievements such as Madhun will not even be able to have an interview for acceptance to the doctorate degree, because he is Palestinian.


"Gisha will continue its legal battle for the Palestinians' legal right to have access to education, for academic freedom of higher education in Israel and for accepting students on academic merit and on an individual basis."


Moran Zelikovich contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 06.05.07, 16:56
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