Speaking at Sunday's cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he was in favor of granting university status to Ariel's institution of higher education. “I emphatically state that Ariel is an inseparable part of the State of Israel, and it will remain so under any future arrangement,” Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu added that establishing a university in Ariel was part of the government's efforts to strengthen higher education in Israel. “I do not think that the seven existing universities we have are enough. I am opposed to the 'closed guild' concept,” in which only the current institutions could be recognized as universities, the Prime Minister said. “If anyone had any doubts as to my opinion on the matter, I believe it is important that there be another university, and that it be in Ariel,” he said.