One-fourth of terrorists from Gaza, Judea and Samaria serving time in Israeli prisons are getting an education through Hamas, according to a report by the Hamas government in Gaza that was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
A Hamas project titled Jamat el-Ahrar (Sons of Freedom) allows prisoners to continue their studies in prison via Hamas.
Terrorists in Israel’s prisons were previously eligible for free studies in Israeli schools. In 2010, the number of inmates enrolled in the Open University stood at 270, of which 210 were classified as “security prisoners” jailed for terror-related offenses.
The practice of providing terrorists with free college education was halted recently in order to put pressure on Hamas to free Gilad Shalit. The Supreme Court has rejected lawsuits calling to force Israel to resume the practice.
Hamas’ school is, according to Hamas, more popular than the Open University once was, with 1,157 students – roughly 25% of the total number of terrorist prisoners. Over the past two years 361 prisoners earned a high school equivalency degree recognized by the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority in Gaza through the program.
The program currently allows prisoners to earn a high school diploma and a college degree. Hamas hopes to expand it to include studies towards a Master’s Degree.