A Palestinian human rights official is urging the leadership in Gaza to reverse a decision blocking eight students from traveling to the United States for university.
Rawyeh Ash-Shawwa, member of the legislative council and head of the Independent Commission for Human Rights, ... found it dumbfounding that Palestinians have battled Israel for permission to leave Gaza but remain stuck due to Hamas.
The 16-year-old students had been granted Amideast scholarships to study in the US. They will lose their scholarships if the decision is not reversed. The students have asked not to be named.
On Monday, Human Rights Watch urged Hamas to overturn the decision.
“Hamas should be encouraging young people to seek educational opportunities, not arbitrarily blocking them from traveling abroad to study,” said Joe Stork, Human Rights Watch's deputy Mideast director.
Authorities in Gaza should halt interrogations, detentions, and harassment apparently aimed at intimidating civil society activists, Human Rights Watch said Monday.Of course, unlike when they want to criticize Israel, HRW waited a week or two after these stories were originally reported before making any statements.
"Hamas should respect their rights to freedom of expression and assembly," the group said in a report noting the arrest of youth activist Abu Yazan, who campaigned for Palestinian unity in March.
“If Hamas expects to be treated as a responsible governing authority, it should stop persecuting peaceful critics in Gaza,” said Joe Stork, deputy Mideast director at the New York-based rights group.