Hamas bans students from studying abroad...
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Gaza’s rulers have barred travel by a group of teenagers who were awarded scholarships to study in the United States, a Palestinian rights group says.
If confirmed, the move represents a trend toward authoritarianism on the part of the militant Hamas leadership in the isolated Palestinian territory, according to Khaled Elgindy, visiting scholar at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
“I think it is significant… it's part of a pattern that Hamas is engaging in that has really intensified in the last several months, where they have become increasingly insecure."
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said the eight students, ages 15 to 17, were awarded scholarships from the YES program run by AMIDEAST, a U.S. independent nonprofit that does some work on State Department grants. Chosen on academic merit, the teens were slated to study one year in the United States, they said.
But the Minister of Education has denied permission to leave the country for “social and cultural reasons” according to the rights group, which said it had been involved in intensive efforts to get the students approval from the government.