RAMALLAH, Jan. 7 (JMCC) - A new Canadian study on the state of Palestinian education says higher learning is suffering in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The report says that Israel's blockade of Gaza and its travel restrictions on West Bank residents has resulted in an infringement of basic civil liberties and of the academic freedom rights that were affirmed in a non-binding 1997 United Nations standard on higher education.
The report says that the Israeli military operates 600 checkpoints in the West Bank as well as other temporary flying checkpoints that routinely keep students and staff from campus. Flying checkpoints can extend a 10-to 15-minute commute to campus to as long as three hours.
The report also cites the violence between Palestinian factions for leaving university workers caught in the cross-fire of the fighting between Hamas and Fatah.
Robinson said there is strong evidence that these obstacles can drive many frustrated students towards militancy. Despite the difficulties, he added, the level of education is actually quite high, approaching the level of Brazil or China.
They manage to do a lot with very little.
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