The recently heavy European criticism of Israel continued on Dec. 27 when British minister expressed “deep disappointment” over the official upgrading of Ariel University Center of Samaria’s status to that of a full-fledged university.
“This decision will deepen the presence of the settlements in the Palestinian territories and will create another obstacle to peace,” British Minister for Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt said, according to Israel Hayom.
Ariel is now Israel’s eighth university and the first located across the Green Line (Israel’s pre-1967 border). Additionally, Burt condemned recent Israeli approval of construction projects in Givat Hamatos and Gilo, areas of Jerusalem that are also beyond the Green Line.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was “disappointing that the British minister adopted the contested Palestinian position verbatim, thus widening gaps instead of bridging them.”