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Palestinian journalist prevented from traveling

Aug. 5, 2010 9:10 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 6, 2010 3:39 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities have prevented a Palestinian journalist from travelling abroad to complete his doctoral studies.

Suheil Khalaf, a correspondent for the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds newspaper, told Ma'an that he attempted to cross over the Allenby Bridge terminal to Jordan but was surprised when Israeli authorities prevented him from leaving without providing any explanation.

Khalaf, who lectures in the department of political science at An-Najah University in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, said his most recent attempt was the second in less than a year to join his PhD program at Cairo University. The journalist called the procedure unjustified and said he obtained approval in advance.

A Palestinian activist from Ramallah, meanwhile, was stopped Wednesday, his colleagues said.

The Bil'in village's Popular Organizing Committee said community organizer Mohammed Khatib was stopped at the crossing, which he was not allowed to cross for "security reasons" and was told to "go back home."

Khatib's colleagues said he had obtained Israeli court permission to travel in advance, and was en route to the Amman airport for a flight to Spain, where he had several speaking engagements to attend.

Khatib was required to seek permission from Israeli officials for travel because of standing charges of incitement and organizing demonstrations demonstrations against Israel's separation wall.

Khatib's lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said the ban was not "security, but rather politically-motivated vengeance."
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