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Israel establishes first university in occupied West Bank
Published Tuesday 25/12/2012 (updated) 26/12/2012 19:29
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Israel's Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom (L) and Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem
Dec. 23. (Reuters/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel upgraded a college in a West Bank Jewish settlement to a university on Monday, reflecting a determination to keep control of the enclave in any peace deal with the Palestinians.

The decision gives the Ariel campus, established in 1982 near the city of Nablus, the same status as universities inside Israel. It comes after Israel announced plans to expand other settlements on occupied land, drawing protest from European governments and the United States.

"For the first time in decades, Israel has a new university," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

Final approval came from military chiefs, who formalized a cabinet decision in September. Their decision was delayed while experts examined legal challenges from other universities that opposed the upgrade.

Some Israeli university heads argued that public funding for the new university would come at their expense.

The Palestinian Higher Education Office also condemned the decision and urged universities worldwide to boycott the institution.

Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

European nations and Washington have criticized Netanyahu's plans to build as many as 6,000 more settlement homes, announced since a Nov. 29 United Nations vote gave Palestinians effective recognition as a state and angered Israel.

European governments have summoned Israeli ambassadors to protest at the expansion of settlements, particularly those established on captured land that Israel annexed to Jerusalem in a move that was never recognized internationally.

Israel has signaled it intends to retain control of several larger settlement blocs such as Ariel under any future pact, while the fates of other enclaves may be negotiated.
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1 ) Mel / USA
25/12/2012 18:14
The world is watching,to SEE WHO/WHICH professors willing sign up for such a WAR CRIMINAL tenure,at an ILLEGAL university,on stolen/occupied Palestinian land?Considering,that signing such a contract with such a university is essentailly a CONFESSION of collusion with Zionist war crimes,global academia will be watching!Faculty,students,academics worldwide should morally,ethically,LEGALLY,academically,boycott it! It's built/funded with CRIMINAL BLOOD-MONEY,to erase truth,& EDIT REALITY!

2 ) gabi / australia
26/12/2012 01:46
"Israel has signaled it intends to retain control of several larger settlement blocs such as Ariel under any future pact, while the fate of other enclaves may be negotiated. Note the "may be negotiated? And isn't Israel always bleating they want peace negotiations to commence, "without pre-conditions?" What do they call this, if it's not pre-conditions? Hypocritesl

3 ) Shirley S / Australia
26/12/2012 09:40
The reality is Jews need eduction and housing. On land lost by attacking Egyptian Syrian and Jordanian forces. The Arabs have rejected peace with Israel in the past, Israel doesn't owe them anything, Remember the period the Clinton peace proposals from 2001, or the Olmert proposals were rejected in 2008 by PA negotiators.

4 ) Fred / UK
26/12/2012 13:37
The reality is people like you Shirley S/Australia are blind and biased, this is occupied Palestinian land and what Israel is doing will make a two state solution a remote possibility.A long term solution at the end will be a one state for all Jews,Muslims and Christians.

5 ) desertson / UK
27/12/2012 01:50
The alternative solution, Fred (and Shirley) is for Israel to obey international law, and get off Palestinian territory. Nobody suggested "negotiations" with the Nazis, millions lost their lives to clear them out. If there was the political will to enforce UN resolutions and the Geneva Convention, there would be no problem, and Israel would have to learn to live in peace with its neighbours instead of attacking them all and being despised throughout the world. Even the USA is losing patience.

6 ) gabi / australia
27/12/2012 08:40
The British government rejects all calls for academic boycotts of Israel "because we believe that boycotts divide people and reduce understanding, when what we need is to bring people together,".

7 ) Dreckish / Romania
27/12/2012 10:32
Dream on Englishman, who else in the world except the Jewish State of Israel requires planning permission from the UN, for housing and developemt projects.
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