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Council of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Statement Regarding Access Restrictions Imposed on Palestinian Students and Scientists
October 31, 2006

On the 24th of October, 2006, the Council of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities took up the issue of a practice recently instituted by the Israeli military authorities, to deny or restrict the passage of Palestinian students and scientists to their venues of academic study or research. The Council took note of the various letters opposing this policy and calling for its abolition that have been dispatched to the Israeli government and to international science organizations, including those written by Rectors of Israeli universities, by Presidents of Palestinian universities, and by two ministers serving in the current Israeli government (the Minister of Education and the Minister of Science). The Council was also apprised of the proceedings in the hearing by Israel’s High Court of Justice of a petition by a Palestinian graduate student who was being denied access to the Hebrew University, where she is enrolled. Discussion culminated with a resolution, adopted unanimously, as follows:

The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities shall be on record in vigorous and unrelenting opposition to any measures, by any government, restricting or impairing the ability of scientists and students to carry out their scientific work and to discharge their scientific or academic responsibilities. In particular, the Council of the Academy calls on the government of the State of Israel to refrain from instituting any policy that hinders any group of scientists or academics, whether Palestinian or otherwise, from properly discharging their academic responsibilities. Cases where security considerations are deemed to require placing restrictions on a person’s movements should be adjudicated as such, on an individual basis and with all due consideration for a person’s human rights.