Barak: Wait to make Ariel a full university

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has recommended delaying a decision to upgrade the Ariel University Center in the West Bank to a full-fledged university.

Barak, in a letter delivered Sept. 2 to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the upgrade should wait until after the Israeli Supreme Court rules on the matter.

The final authorization for making the Ariel center a university must be made by the Israel Defense Forces’ central commander in the West Bank, Maj.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, who reportedly has not yet signed the go-ahead at the instruction of Barak.

In July, the Ariel center was recognized as a full university by the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria. The center has more than 10,000 students, Jewish and Arab. Some 15 percent of the students live in the West Bank. — jta