Foreign Secretary expresses disappointment at Israeli decision to upgrade Ariel College

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke after the Israeli Cabinet approved the potential upgrading of Ariel College, which would create the first university in a settlement illegal under international law.

The Foreign Secretary said:

“I am very disappointed by last night’s decision by the Israeli Cabinet to approve the potential upgrading of Ariel College. This would lead to the creation of Israel’s first university beyond the Green Line, in a settlement illegal under international law. It would further entrench the presence of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and create an additional barrier to peace with the Palestinians.

“This move is particularly regrettable because it comes at a time of rapidly expanding co-operation between UK and Israeli universities, and when the British Government has taken a firm stand against those who seek to undermine Israel’s legitimacy by boycotting educational and cultural institutions. I call on the Government of Israel to reconsider its approach as a matter of urgency.”