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article imageBarak to Netanyahu: Wait on High Court decision on Ariel college

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By Paul Iddon     Sep 2, 2012 in World
Today Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak requested that Prime Minister Netanyahu wait for the High Court ruling on the status of Ariel College before making a definite decision on the matter.
Haaretz and Ynet News report that the Defence Minister wrote a letter to the Israeli premier, Mr. Barak states that he has spoken to the relevant parties on the subject and concludes from doing so that the Netanyahu government should wait for the High Court to rule on a decision regarding a petition -- drawn up by those opposed to the implementation of university status for the Ariel institution -- before the government decides on its stance with regard to the issue.
The proposal to upgrade Ariel College is a controversial one, given the fact that the Ariel settlement is located on the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, recognized by the international community as Palestinian territory, however Israel disputes the finer points of international law -- which unambiguously proclaim settlements like Ariel to be illegal.
Upgrading the college at Ariel to university status is a way Israeli settlers see of giving their settlements in the West Bank a kind of permanent legitimacy. However many contest this claim as the current college in the settlement is closed to any Palestinian resident of the West Bank territory.
As of last month Barak was reportedly undecided on whether or not to recognize the Ariel college as a university and was formulating his decision on how to address the matter by consulting with the relevant parties involved. This indicates that he is willing to address all sides of the issue before the Israeli government ultimately decides the status of the educational institution in the Ariel settlement.
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