US reinstates Fulbrights for Gaza students restricted by Israeli blockade

The US has reinstated the Fulbright scholarships of seven Gaza Strip students blocked by Israel from leaving the Hamas-ruled territory, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. The students learned last week that their scholarships for the upcoming academic year would be deferred because they couldn't get out of Gaza, which Israel has blockaded since Hamas seized power a year ago. Israel stopped short of promising to solve the problem, while US officials prodded Israel to do so. The gingerly approach by both sides indicated that the prospect of Gaza students losing scholarships was embarrassing to both sides. In a clash of priorities between the two close allies, Israel was sticking to the security aspect of its blockade on Gaza, while the US was emphasizing the importance of allowing Palestinian scholars to study.