Four Palestinian Fulbright scholars from Gaza have been allowed out of the besieged Hamas-ruled territory to apply for U.S. student visas in Jerusalem.

A total of seven Palestinians from Gaza have been awarded the prestigious scholarship to study in the U.S. But last week, they learned that their scholarships would be deferred because Israel would not let them out of Gaza. Israel has blockaded the area since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized power there a year ago.

The U.S. later reinstated the scholarships.

On Wednesday, four of the seven left Gaza for Israel to apply for their U.S. visas at the American consulate. An Israeli group helping the students says they will return to Gaza and head to the U.S. in August.

The group says the three other Fulbright students were denied exit Wednesday for security reasons.