Israel allowed four Palestinian
Fulbright scholars to travel to Jerusalem to
apply for U.S. student visas, but it delayed permission for three others to
leave the Gaza Strip, one of the students and a human-rights group
U.S. officials had protested
Israel's initial refusal to allow the scholars to leave the Hamas-ruled territory. Israel, which has imposed a blockade on Gaza, cited security considerations.
The prestigious scholarships
were briefly deferred when the students could
not get out of Gaza but were reinstated Monday after intercession by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Gisha, an Israeli human-rights group
that escorted the four students after they entered Israel, said the delay for the three other students probably meant security checks were taking longer than anticipated.