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Israeli travel ban cuts studies short for Palestinians

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GAZAFor more than a decade, Emal Abu Aisha has run a women's center in the Gaza Strip that provides women with training and classes to improve their education. But Abu Aisha, 42, said she'd been denied that opportunity herself.

In 2000, a new Israeli policy that banned Palestinians from the Gaza Strip from studying in the West Bank cut short her own education, in gender studies in the West Bank's Birzeit University.

"From that moment till now I wasn't allowed to continue my studies," Abu Aisha said. "As a women's activist I run a center to help women, to teach them. But I can't do the same for myself. I've gone as far as I can and I need more education for myself."

Over the last decade, Israel has adopted a policy of what it calls "separationism" between the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Palestinians who live in Gaza are forbidden from moving to the West Bank, unless they have first-degree relatives suffering from severe illness or are orphans seeking to reunite with their families.

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