Very first contacts took place between CERN and individual expatriate Palestinian scientists, among them a theorist from Birzeit University and a Palestinian student who via the ICTP LHC programme defended his thesis within the ATLAS collaboration. More recently a second thesis was defended within the ATLAS experiment by a student from An-Najah University who in the meantime got a position as Assistant Professor in the physics department at the same University and is very pro-active strengthening the collaboration. One more student is expected to defend his PhD by mid-2017.
Two documents were signed to get Palestinian universities involved in CERN activities. The first one is an Expression of Interest that has been signed between the An-Najah University and the ATLAS experiment in June 2014. A second document is an International Cooperation Agreement that has been signed between CERN and Palestine in December 2016.
Palestinian students have participated in the CERN summer programme for many years; in the last years a special effort was made to take up to 2 students/session.