SANTA ANA, Calif. The University of California on Tuesday ordered its remaining students in Israel to come home in the wake of a U.S. State Department warning against traveling in the troubled region.
University of California-Irvine student Heather Pobiner, 20, is among the 27 University of California Education Abroad students completing a year’s study who had not already voluntarily left the country.
Her mother, Marilyn Pobiner of San Diego, said her daughter will be returning home within the next week from her junior year studying English literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
“When I talked to her earlier, she still said she hadn’t decided whether to come home or not, but I told her, ‘Your father and I have made that decision for you,'” Marilyn Pobiner said. “‘Start packing because you will be on the next plane home.'”
Israel launched a military invasion of Palestinian-controlled areas over a week ago, saying it wanted to isolate Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and find terrorists who are responsible for a spate of suicide bombings.
Eight University of Sussex students were trapped in the West Bank settlement of Ramallah earlier this week and ordered by British officials to stay in their lodgings until they could be safely removed, according to published reports.
In response to the increasing violence, the University of California has also placed a hold on next fall’s academic program in Israel, but is leaving the program directors in place so that students can return when the region becomes safer. Other U.S. colleges, including the University of Washington and University of Colorado, also have recalled their students.
California State University suspended its systemwide Israel study abroad program last summer, California State University-Fullerton spokeswoman Paula Selleck said, although she said one California State University-Fullerton student is studying independently at Ben Gurion University.
The University of California’s other international programs, which send 2,700 students annually to 34 countries, remain unaffected.
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