West Bank university disqualified from competition


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Spanish government ministry disqualified an Israeli university from an international competition for being in "occupied territory."

The Spanish Housing Ministry, in a letter sent last Friday to the Ariel University Center, said it was disqualifying the architecture department from competing in the finals of an international competition in Madrid next month to build a house that runs on solar power.

"The decision was made by the Spanish government based on the fact that the university is located in occupied territory in the West Bank," read the letter signed by Sergio Vega, project manager of the Solar Decathlon, Ynet reported. "The Spanish government is committed to uphold the international agreement under the framework of the European Union and the United Nations regarding this geographical area."

The Ariel university was one of 20 universities to reach the finals in the two-year competition, during which it had contact with the competition’s management and the housing ministry. 

The disqualification comes in the wake of an inititative by the Britian-based group Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, Ynet reported.

Organized by the U.S. Department of Energy, the competition until this year had been held in Washington.

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