Israel academics urge settlement college boycott

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Ariel is located southwest of Palestinian city of Nablus and is home to about 18,000 people.
© AFP Jack Guez

Ariel is located southwest of Palestinian city of Nablus and is home to about 18,000 people.
© AFP Jack Guez

JERUSALEM (AFP) – More than 150 Israeli academics have signed a petition calling for a boycott of a university located in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, one of them told Israeli public radio on Sunday.

“We refuse to participate in any academic activity in Ariel, an illegal settlement which aims to stop the Palestinians from creating their independent state,” Ron Naaman of the Weizmann Institute of Science told the radio.

“We want our compatriots to understand that the pursuit of the occupation harms Israel and contributes to its delegitimisation on the international stage,” he added.

The petition was signed by at least 155 academics.

The Ariel University Centre of Samaria has some 8,500 students, and is situated inside one of the larger settlements of the occupied West Bank.

Ariel, which is located southwest of Palestinian city of Nablus, is home to about 18,000 people.

Education Minister Gideon Saar condemned the boycott in a statement, calling the petition a “provocation.”

Last August, dozens of actors and Israeli artists announced they would boycott a new cultural centre at Ariel because it was built on occupied land.