The following statement was approved at the Annual General Meeting of Scientists for Palestine on January 13th 2019:
Scientists for Palestine believes that free collaboration among nations is one of the pillars of the way the scientific community should operate. Understanding how this principle is infringed in the case of Palestine is of tantamount importance, as we attempt to explain in this document.
The primary obstacle towards strengthening science in Palestine is the ongoing Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and the siege of the Gaza strip. The occupation infringes on:
- The right to education of the Palestinian people: through systematic forced closure , raids , destructions and even bombing  of Palestinian universities, schools  and scientific infrastructures, Israeli forces prevent Palestinians from having the right to their own education , a right which is protected by Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . Furthermore, there have been instances in which established academics have been held in Israeli jails with neither trial nor official charges, apparently just for criticizing these policies .
- The freedom of movement: the mobility of Palestinian scientists and students is critically limited by checkpoints in the West Bank , which tremendously delay internal travel, an incredibly convoluted system of permits to leave Gaza , which makes it a de facto open air prison, and the lack of a single operating airport between the West Bank and Gaza. Modern scientific collaboration can only flourish when scientists are free to travel and are able to experience an exchange of ideas and perspectives.
- Access to equipment and infrastructure: Israeli institutions control nearly everything that comes into Gaza and the West Bank, severely restricting what can be imported , as well as the granting of planning permissions in ‘Area C’ of the West Bank. This makes it almost impossible for Palestinian scientists to build experiments or the infrastructure needed for large scientific projects.
Those restrictions have a strong impact on potential collaborations between the Palestinian academic community and the international scientific community, including in particular Israel. In fact:
- There cannot be a true and fair collaboration between Palestinians and Israelis as long as the former do not have free access to the academic and scientific resources and infrastructure that the latter have (residents of the West Bank and Gaza cannot freely travel to Israel, for instance).
- As discussed above, the primary obstacle to Palestinian scientific progress is not a lack of friendliness, but instead those policies implemented by the Israeli government, many in open violation of international law, which repress and discriminate Palestinians.
The Palestinian academic community has largely recognized that their Israeli colleagues’ denouncement and active opposition to the occupation are important. This must be clearly understood as a joint opposition effort between partners that are unequal due to the impacts of the ongoing occupation. Such joint opposition efforts are in contrast to activities that, under the pretext of collaboration, ignore – and thereby normalize – the impact of the occupation in science. Efforts from Israeli academics and scientists of conscience recognizing the situation described in this document and condemning without reservation human right abuses against Palestinians should be encouraged.
 University Closure History | Birzeit University.
 Birzeit University denounces early-morning campus raid by Israeli military (2017, 14 Dec).
Al-Quds University strongly condemns the raid by the Israeli forces of its campus (2017, 18 Dec).
 Israel strikes university in Gaza city, (2014, 2 Aug).
 EU Local statement on the dismantling of schools in the West Bank (2018, 26 Oct.).
 Israel’s assault on Palestinian universities is a threat to human rights and a tragedy for this generation of students (2018, 21 Oct).
 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
 Starved of justice: Palestinians detained without trial by Israel.
 Nature: In the Palestinian territories, science struggles against all odds.
 Science in the Gaza Strip: the impact of the Israeli occupation. Video produced by Scientists for Palestine.