IDF approves upgrade of West Bank college

The presidents of all but one of Israel's universities have been unsuccessful in an attempt to stop Ariel College in the West Bank gaining university status.

The education council of the West Bank settlements declared Ariel a university in the summer, despite the reservations of Israel's Council on Higher Education, and it was subsequently approved by the Knesset, but the decision had been awaiting military approval. This was given on Tuesday, after which the university presidents joined forces to launch a legal challenge.

"These are election days and any decision on this sensitive matter at this time can be interpreted as a political move," said a petition, signed by the heads of Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University, the Technion, the Weizmann Institute, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the University of Haifa and the Open University. "There is no logic in acting so urgently."

Despite their petition, the Supreme Court did not issue an injunction to stop the decision being made final.

Last updated: 1:44pm, December 27 2012