West Bank settlement college deemed a university

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Associated Press

Posted on July 17, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 17 at 5:04 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — A settler body has overturned a ruling by Israel's Council on Higher Education and has granted university status to a college in an Israeli settlement.

The move could draw a new round of international condemnation against Israeli policies in the West Bank.

Shmuel Dovrat, a spokesman for the education council of the West Bank settlements, says the school in the settlement of Ariel will now be named Ariel University. He says university status means the institution will receive public funding for the upcoming school year.

Tuesday's decision awaits a final approval from Israel's military.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the decision, and Palestinians criticized it.

Israel's Council for Higher Education ruled earlier that there was not enough funding to support another university, but the settler body overruled that.

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