Update at 5:45pm on Friday 29th September: We've just learnt that Mohammed has been granted permission to leave on Tuesday 3rd October.
Goldsmiths Students’ Union are increasingly concerned about the Israeli Government's treatment of one of our new students, Mohammed Awad, who has been awaiting permission to leave the Gaza Strip due to harsh visa restrictions.
Mohammed is a recipient of the Goldsmiths' Humanitarian Scholarship, one of two postgraduate students from the Occupied Palestinian Territories to have their living costs and fees paid for by Goldsmiths this year. With a land and sea blockade severely limiting opportunities for Palestinians, these scholarships were introduced after a campaign by students to support those wishing to study abroad.
He was due to start an MA in Multilingualism, Linguistics and Education next week, and whilst the UK government has granted his visa, the Israeli Government will not let him leave Gaza.
The story was covered in the Independent this week, but it is clear to us that this is not an isolated incident, as the Israeli Government has a pattern of disrupting the lives of young people in Gaza wishing to attend universities in other countries.
Israeli NGO, Gisha, has recorded 362 incidents of Palestinians from Gaza applying to study abroad since January 2017. Out of these applicants, 73 were allowed exit, 7 were refused, 50 were returned and placed under review, and 239 students are still awaiting answers.
We demand that the Israeli Government let Mohammed leave Gaza so he can join the community at Goldsmiths.
What you can do to help:
In unity and solidarity,
Goldsmiths Students’ Union