European Student Protests Spread over Gaza War

European Student Protests Spread over Gaza War

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Student protests demanding universities sever ties with Israel over the Gaza war have spread across Europe, igniting clashes and arrests as new demonstrations arise in several countries.

Inspired by ongoing protests at US campuses, students at various European universities have been occupying halls and facilities, demanding an end to partnerships with Israeli institutions due to Israel’s war on Gaza.

Israel initiated a significant military offensive against Rafah early Tuesday, the only city in Gaza yet to be razed in the campaign, sheltering 1.4 million Palestinians.

Dutch police reported 169 arrests on Monday evening at the University of Amsterdam when they dispersed an encampment, resorting to baton-charging and dismantling tents after protesters refused to leave.

Violence briefly erupted before police intervention when a small group of counter-protesters wielding flares stormed the main protest.

Resuming the demonstration on Tuesday evening around the university campus, several hundred protesters called for a ceasefire, erecting barriers amid a heavy police presence.

Around 50 demonstrators gathered outside the library at Utrecht University, with a few dozen more at the Technical University of Delft.

In Leipzig, Germany, 50 to 60 people occupied a lecture hall, barricading doors and erecting tents, prompting police intervention and a subsequent criminal complaint by the university.

A pro-Israeli counter-protest involving about 40 people also occurred in Leipzig.

At Berlin’s Free University, police dispersed a demonstration after up to 80 people set up a protest camp, leading to some arrests for incitement to hatred and trespassing.

In Paris, police intervened twice at Sciences Po university, dispersing about 20 students barricaded in the main hall.

At the Sorbonne, police ejected approximately a hundred students from an occupied amphitheater.

Protests spread to three universities in Switzerland, where the University of Lausanne stated it sees no reason to end relations with Israeli universities.

In Austria, dozens of protesters camped at Vienna University, while over 100 students occupied Ghent University in Belgium.

Similar encampments and protests occurred in Ireland, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Spain, and the UK in recent weeks.

Clashes erupted between police and pro-Palestinian protesters during a rally in central Athens, with over 300 people demonstrating outside the parliament building.

The war in the Gaza Strip was sparked by an unprecedented 7 October attack on Israeli-occupied territories by the Palestinian resistance groups, in response to decades of aggression.

Israel launched a retaliatory offensive that has killed at least 34,789 people in Gaza, mostly women and children and injured tens of thousands more, according to the Gaza health ministry.

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