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Yair Lapid Sets Aside Money for Ariel University

By: JTA

Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid will grant nearly $14 million in aid to Ariel University.

The money, which was pledged by the previous finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, will be transferred in two stages, Haaretz reported Sunday.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein earlier this year blocked the transfer of the money, which had been approved during the election campaign.

About 40 percent of the money will be transferred in August following passage of the new budget, according to the newspaper, and the rest after the start of 2014.

Ariel University Center was recognized by Israel’s Cabinet as an accredited university in September 2012 when it became Israel’s eighth university.

In July, the Ariel center was recognized as a full university by the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria, which was established in 1997 after the Council for Higher Education refused to discuss academic issues concerning Judea and Samaria.

The Judea and Samaria council’s 11-2 vote came despite a recommendation against approval by the planning and budget committee of the Council for Higher Education, as well as opposition from the country’s other seven universities and public figures who objected to upgrading a college in Judea and Samaria.

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