Birzeit University, Adalah, Al-Haq now fighting to end escalating discriminatory Israeli policy aimed at blocking international academics from entering the country and refusing to renew visas for those with teaching contracts.
8 July 2019
Israel is refusing to issue work permits for international academics working at Palestinian universities in the occupied West Bank and is escalating a harsh visa policy that is forcing them to abandon their students and leave the country. Murky and arbitrary Israeli regulations leave international lecturers and their families in constant uncertainty and subject to deportation at any time.
Now, a Palestinian university in the West Bank, together with two Palestinian human rights groups, are taking legal action.
After three consecutive academic years during which Israel has intensified its efforts to force international lecturers to leave the country, Birzeit University, Al-Haq, and Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, are demanding an immediate halt to this policy targeting Palestinian academic freedom and isolating Palestinian institutions of higher learning. Birzeit University – despite operating under Israeli military occupation – must be guaranteed the ability to exercise its right to freedom of education.
In a letter sent on 30 April 2019 to Israeli Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, Israeli Chief Military Advocate General Sharon Afek, and the Israeli military’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Kamil Abu Rokon, Birzeit University, Al-Haq, and Adalah demand that Israel:
- lift the restrictions preventing international academics employed by Birzeit University from staying and working in the West Bank;
- refrain from imposing arbitrary restrictions on the duration of stay or extension of stay for international academics;
- order the publication of a clear and lawful procedure for issuing entry visas and work permits for international academics in the West Bank, which will enable the university to manage and maintain its academic freedom.
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