Israeli prosecutor bans academic travel of West Bank professor

[ 25/06/2011 – 10:30 AM ]

NABLUS, (PIC)–  The Israeli Public Prosecutor has informed the HaMoked rights group that a West Bank professor has been denied permission to leave the occupied Palestinian territories to join a media conference in Qatar.

Al-Najah University professor Dr. Farid Abu Dhaheir said in a statement after HaMoked informed him of the decision that he was said to have “posed a threat” to Israeli security, adding that the grounds for the decision were “laughable”.

The professor explained that he planned on travelling to Qatar to join a conference staged by UNESCO and the World Conference of Science Journalism on June 26 to share the Palestinians’ experience in science journalism.

Abu Dhaheir said he had previously taken part in several conferences and academic activities in several countries without being banned from travel.

In his statement, Abu Dhaheir denied having political ties and said the decision was one form of collective punishment that Israel uses against Palestinian civilians. He said that thousands of Palestinians are banned from traveling abroad in an attempt to suppress them.

He also highlighted that the decision conflicts with human rights and humanitarian law, which ensure the freedom of movement between countries. He called on the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank, as well as Arab states and rights groups to pressure Israel into dealing with the Palestinians according to international law.

Last month Israeli forces intercepted Abu Dhaheir on a crossing on his way to Jordan where his son was supposed to undergo a surgery. He was turned back even though he obtained prior approval from Israeli officials. The Israeli prosecutor then claimed that he poses a threat to Israel because of his ties abroad, ties which Abu Dhaheir has denied altogether.

Israeli authorities have denied Dr. Abu Dhaheir from traveling abroad since 2006 on the same grounds.


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