BERKELEY — UC Berkeley student leaders voted early Thursday to drop the student Senate's investments in companies doing business with Israel.

The Senate, meeting into the early hours of the morning, voted 16-4 to divest itself from Israel and to ask the University of California system to do the same.

It was not immediately known whether the Senate had any such investments. But the UC system invests millions in funds that include General Electric and United Technologies, which supply Israel with military equipment, said Emiliano Huet-Vaughn, a student senator who cowrote the bill.

The UC system, he said, should not support a country that has committed human-rights abuses in the Gaza Strip. The 10-campus university has divested itself of tobacco- and Sudan-related funds.

The students' action was condemned by the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, which called the vote hypocritical and troubling, citing violence by Palestinians. A UC spokesman said the university had not yet seen the resolution and could not comment.

Matt Krupnick covers higher education. Contact him at 925-943-8246. Follow him at