BYU officials have announced that they will not re-open The BYU Jerusalem Center this fall. The official announcement is on The Jerusalem Center page here. According to BYU:
Because of the recent escalation of violence in the region, Brigham Young University will not be resuming student programs at its Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies Fall Semester 2006 as previously announced. While it is the hope, and expectation, that the University will resume students programs at some point, the University will not make any decision regarding future programs until the current conflict is resolved in such a way that students can safely travel to the area and within the Holy Land. Application materials, processing fees and deposits are being returned to those students who applied for the Fall 2006 program. The Jerusalem Center remains open to visitors and continues to host community outreach and service programs.
The Deseret News reports:
PROVO — Renewed violence in and around Israel led Brigham Young University to announce Friday morning that it will not send students to its Jerusalem Center this fall. Today’s news came days before the university was set to announce which students had been accepted to the program, which closed in 2000 because of violence in Jerusalem.
BYU had said in June that it would resume programs at the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies for the first time since the university pulled all 174 students out of the center during the fall semester in 2000. The students had been sequestered in the center for a month before the pullout.
New fighting in northern Israel and Lebanon began 17 days ago, sparked by the June 25 kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. Violence continues to be centered far from Jerusalem, where BYU’s center has been a refuge for at least 18 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who live in northern Israel. BYU officials repeatedly said they were closely watching the situation.
School officials earlier said 132 students had applied for 44 spots available this fall. Fees, deposits and application materials will be returned to the applicants, BYU spokesman Michael Smart said. The Jerusalem Center has been and remains open to visitors and continues to host community outreach and service programs. BYU still hopes to resume student programs in the future, Smart said, but will not make any decisions until the current conflict is resolved in such a way that students can safely travel to the area.
KSL News is also reporting here.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports here.
The Daily Herald reports here.
Reuters reports on a related story here.