The Cabinet has decided to upgrade a college in the big Jewish settlement of Ariel to university status, underscoring Sharon’s strategy of pulling out of Gaza while tightening Israel’s grip on Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria. "I attach very great importance to turning the Ariel college, which has 7,000 students, into a university,” Sharon said. “This is in keeping with the government's aim of strengthening settlement blocs.” Palestinian officials said the move is part of Sharon’s policy of “creeping annexation.”
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