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Ben-Gurion University changed its bylaws last week, easing its regulations regarding student protests on campus.

The Be'er Sheva university had been disciplining students for staging unauthorized protests.

But after the student union complained, it changed its regulations to allow protests to be held with prior notice of only 24 hours, down from seven days.

Yesterday, two Ben-Gurion students linked to the right-wing group Im Tirtzu petitioned the Be'er Sheva Administrative Court against the university's decision to discipline them.

Until now, all the students who had been disciplined for unauthorized protests had been from the political left.

In total, four students have been disciplined for unauthorized protests in recent weeks.

Some of the students violated the terms approved by the university for their protests, while others staged protests without any authorization whatsoever.

Until now, students were allowed to protest only if they received special permission from the dean.

Several students and faculty members had objected to the regulations, saying they limited freedom of expression.

Representatives of the Ben-Gurion student union said the rules prevented students from responding to events in real time.

Strengthening free speech

"This time we were able to reach an agreement on new regulations for holding protests at the university," said student union head Uri Keidar. "I believe this strengthens the values of free speech and the right to protest on campus."

"The university has forgotten certain basic rules intended to ensure the proper administration of discipline," the students wrote in their petition.