U.S. Cancels Gaza Fulbright Scholars' Visas

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CBNNews.com - WASHINGTON - The U.S. revoked the visas of three Palestinian Fulbright scholars and one other student from the Gaza Strip, citing "new information."

One of the four who arrived at Dulles Airport was sent back to Jordan without having left the airport.

"There were four Palestinians who were issued visas about whom we received additional information," said State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos.

"We decided that we needed to take a closer and harder look at them in light of the additional information we received," he said, adding that the action was taken under a "prudential revocation" clause, which allows such a move when additional information is disclosed after a visa is issued.

Gallegos also said the decision "does not preclude the applicants from reapplying for visas in the future."

In May, Israeli officials cited security concerns when they denied the scholars' request to be interviewed at the Israeli Consulate in Jerusalem, a move that angered U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Rice, in turn, used her leverage to convince senior Israeli officials to allow four of seven applicants to travel to Jerusalem to be interviewed.

American diplomats traveled to the Gaza border in July to interview the other three visa applicants.

The US maintains no diplomatic presence in the Gaza Strip, run by Hamas, which is listed as a terror organization by the State Department.

Source: YNet news

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