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Israel university grants academic credit to students volunteering in illegal outposts

Ariel University Center in Israel on 4th July 2005 [User:kippi70/Wikipedia]
Ariel University, built on the illegal Israel settlement of Ariel, taken on July 4, 2005 [kippi70/Wikipedia]

The Israeli Ariel University is granting academic credit to students volunteering in illegal outposts built in usurped Palestinian lands, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed last week.

The university, which is being built in the Israeli settlement of Ariel, is offering academic credit through a joint programme with the settlement group Hashomer Yosh (Guardians of the West Bank).

According to Haaretz, the programme includes opportunities at 28 unauthorised farms located inside illegal settlement outposts.

Settlements are residential compounds for Israeli settlers built on occupied Palestinian territories licensed by the Israeli government, while outposts are small compounds unlicensed by the Israeli government.

Many of the outposts, where Ariel university is granting credit for its students, include locations that have been the scenes of violence, Haaretz reported.

It has been revealed that the government's attorney general and the Israeli Council for High Education are investigating complaints in this regard, pushing the university to deny its involvement in this joint programme.

READ: Tel Aviv University declares 'Free Palestine' as its Facebook page is hacked

However, a spokesperson for the university has confirmed that students are given the opportunity to volunteer in three farms that were built legally on state land.

An Israeli researcher specialising in settlements, reported by Haaretz, said that the three settlements mentioned by the university were also built without legal building licenses.

Promoting this programme, the university wrote on its website that the purpose of volunteering in these outposts is to: "Connect students with the Zionist and national mission of farming."

Hashomer Yosh posted a video of the university head stating: "This organisation works against those who seek to undermine the right of the nation of Israel to settle in the country and develop farming," calling for support for the organisation.

It is worth noting that this university was built in violation of Israel's high education guidelines and has been boycotted by hundreds of academics in Israel, the US and many countries worldwide.

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