A British minister expressed "deep disappointment" on Thursday over the official upgrading of Ariel University Center of Samaria's status to that of a full-fledged university.
"This decision will deepen the presence of the settlements in the Palestinian territories and will create another obstacle to peace," British Minister for Middle East Affairs Alistair Burt said.
Burt also condemned recent Israeli approval of construction projects in Givat Hamatos and Gilo, areas of Jerusalem that are located across the Green Line (Israel's pre-1967 border).
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said it was "disappointing that the British minister adopted the contested Palestinian position verbatim, thus widening gaps instead of bridging them."
Earlier this week, the Committee of University Heads filed an appeal with the High Court of Justice against Ariel's new status. The High Court of Justice will discuss the appeal on January 24.
In its appeal, the Committee of University Heads cited political and budgetary concerns.
Ariel University is now Israel's eighth university and the first located across the Green Line.