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Why Israeli Arabs prefer studying in the West Bank

Israeli-Arab students find it difficult to pass the entry exams of universities in Israel that favor Hebrew-speaking Israeli Jews, and prefer enrolling in West Bank universities.
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Chairman Ayman Odeh of the Joint List, the unified slate of predominantly Arab parties, was invited to tour the Arab American University in Jenin on Nov. 6, and to a meeting with the university’s heads. The objective of this get-together was not a mere courtesy or get-to-know you visit, but to show Odeh the integration of Israeli-Arab students in the only private academic institution in the West Bank.

The Arab American University in Jenin was founded in cooperation with California State University, Stanislaus, in 2000, just before the start of the second intifada, in the city that is at the forefront of the armed struggle against Israel. In fact, Jenin was often called by Israeli media “the capital of suicide terrorism.” In the university’s early years, it operated in the shadow of a complex security situation involving frequent closures, encirclements and military operations. In the past two years, with the aid of contributions from all over the world, the university built itself up to the position of a leading academic institution in the territories. In this way, it also became attractive to Arab students with Israeli citizenship.

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