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posted: 9/27/2012 9:36 AM

Israel upholds ban on Gaza students in West Bank

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Associated Press

JERUSALEM -- Israel's supreme court has upheld a ban on Palestinian students from the Gaza Strip studying in the West Bank.

Israeli and Palestinian rights groups petitioned the court to allow five students from Gaza to travel to the West Bank for a master's program in gender studies. They argue the two separate Palestinian territories should be treated as a single entity.

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Israel has treated Gaza as a hostile territory since 2007, when the militant group Hamas took control of the seaside strip. Israel limits Gazans' travel to Israel and the West Bank, citing security concerns. Army spokesman Guy Inbar says Israel grants travel permits only for humanitarian reasons.

The supreme court this week upheld that policy, saying Israel could not individually screen each student application. Rights groups published the ruling Thursday.

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