Berlanty Azzim, a resident of Bethlehem, who says that she entered the West Bank on a valid visa in 2005, is a month away from completing her studies in business management at a West Bank university. At the end of October, she was stopped at a checkpoint by Israeli soldiers and deported to Gaza, on the grounds that as a holder of an identity card with a Gaza address she was in the West Bank illegally. The Israeli Supreme Court has upheld the army’s decision.
We urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make an exception to the applicable rules in order to allow Ms. Azzim to complete her university studies. According to the Israeli human rights group Gisham, no security concerns have been raised about Ms. Azzim. In addition, as scientists and academics devoted to scientific freedom, we recommended that he propose an amendment to the laws governing access from Gaza to the West Bank, which now allow entry for religious purposes, to add an exception for for educational travel for students and for teachers (unless the persons pose security risks that can be publicly documented).