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, two theses were defended within the ATLAS experiment by a student from An-Najah University and by a student from Birzeit University. The first obtained a position as Assistant Professor in the physics department at the An-Najah University and is very pro-active strengthening the collaboration between CERN and Palestine. Very recently, an MSc. student from the Islamic University in Gaza spent 8 months at CERN as a Technical Student.
Two documents were signed to develop the participation of Palestinian universities 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 (ICA) that has been signed between CERN and Palestine in December 2015.
Recently, CERN agreed to donate some computer server equipment to the An-Najah University.
Palestinian students have participated in the CERN Summer Student Programme for many years and in the last years a special effort was made to take up to two students per year.