Thursday, December 6, 2007

Palestinian student Khaled Al Mudallal at Bradford University, warmly thanked all those who supported his campaign

"At a press conference this morning, Palestinian student Khaled Al Mudallal, who visited Gaza this summer but ended up trapped there, prevented by the Israeli authorities from leaving to complete his studies at Bradford University, warmly thanked all those who supported his campaign.

International pressure mounted to demand Khaled's right to education was respected, which finally forced Israel to let him return to Bradford. Khaled's case was also fought through the Israeli high courts by Gisha, an Israeli human rights organisation, and Khaled finally arrived back in Britain on Tuesday 4 November.

The press conference, held in Westminster, also provided an opportunity for Khaled to meet with Brian Iddon MP, who tabled an Early Day Motion signed by 50 MPs calling for the right to education to be respected and for Khaled to be able to return to Bradford.

Khaled pointed out that although he was able to return to his studies, this was not a time for celebration, as hundreds of students remain trapped in Gaza and unable to leave, despite having been granted visas and places to study in universities worldwide. He pledged that he would continue to work to ensure that they are also able to complete their education.

Chairing the press conference, Ruqqayah Collector, NUS Black Students Officer, talked about the need for students to continue campaigning for the rights of all Palestinian students to education.

Sarah Colborne, PSC chair, highlighted the humanitarian crisis that is resulting from Israel's collective punishment of the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza, with 91 essential drugs having run out, and Israel preventing even those needing urgent medical attention from leaving Gaza. She called for increasing pressure on the Israeli government to end its illegal siege of Gaza......"

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