Israeli minister quits amid criticism over Gaza Strip pullout plan; Israel turns West Bank college into university
Israel's Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Natan Sharansky announced his resignation from the government Monday to protest Israel's "failure to condition the disengagement plan on democratic reforms in the Palestinian Authority."
"Waiving this condition will weaken the chances of building a free Palestinian society and support terror," Sharansky wrote his letter of resignation, which he submitted to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Monday morning.
Sharansky warned that the plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and part of the northern West Bank was a mistake that would make it more difficult to achieve a "genuine peace."
Meanwhile, Israeli cabinet voted 13-7 Monday to confer university status on "Ariel college" located in the West Bank. During the cabinet debate, Sharon said making the "Ariel college" a university is a way of strengthening Jewish settlement of the West Bank.
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