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US college protests flare as police detain anti-Israel protesters, Netanyahu calls demonstrations 'shameful'

Protesters and police clashed on the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles during a pro-Palestinian demonstration on Wednesday. Demonstrators chanted, "Free, free Palestine" as they marched and carried tents on campus.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 California Updated on: April 25, 2024 9:04 IST
US college protests
Image Source : AP US college protests

Amid a growing wave of pro-Palestinian protests in several colleges in the United States, police bulldozed into student protesters at a Texas university on Wednesday, arresting over a dozen people including a local news photographer.   The clashes between police and students were widely reported from the campus of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles.

Demonstrators chanted, "Free, free Palestine" as they marched and carried tents on campus. As tensions flared, police were seen pushing back protesters, some of whom fell to the ground. "We want the university to disclose its financial holdings and divest from its relationships with financial institutions. And we want the university to recognize and acknowledge to its student body that there is a genocide happening to our families in Gaza,” a protest organizer who wanted to remain anonymous told Reuters.

VIDEO: Tempers flare between pro-Palestinian protesters and police at university rally in Los Angeles

Protesters surrounded a vehicle where at least one protester had been detained by police and chanted, "Let him go, let him go." Police officials called on the Los Angeles Police Department to try and tame the situation. The detained protester was later released to the delight of the Pro-Palestinian protesters.

READ: Pro-Palestinian protests sweep US universities, target financial links with Israel 

Netanyahu calls protests shameful

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at the pro-Palestinian demonstrations on US college campuses in a video statement released Wednesday, saying the response of several university presidents has been “shameful” and calling on state, local and federal officials to intervene.

 

The war in Gaza continues to reverberate through US university campuses where students have camped out in tents as they protested Israel's actions in Gaza. “We don't intend to back down unless we are faced [with] incredibly great risk to our occupiers. As you can see, the community is rallying behind us. And as we've seen, like students at other schools have shown incredible bravery and incredible strength and continuing their occupations in the face of incredible repression from the universities,” said another lead organizer who also wanted to remain anonymous.

Why US college students are protesting against Israel?

Pro-Palestinian groups have called on universities to end investments in companies that support or profit from Israel's military actions in the occupied Palestinian territories. Some Jewish students say the protests have veered into antisemitism and made them afraid to set foot on campus, partly prompting a heavier hand from universities.

Police first tried to clear the encampment at Columbia last week, when they arrested more than 100 protesters. The move backfired, acting as an inspiration for other students across the country to set up similar encampments and motivating protesters at Columbia to regroup. At New York University this week, police said 133 protesters were taken into custody, while over 40 protesters were arrested Monday at an encampment at Yale University.

(With inputs from agencies)

Also Read: US students seek full refund of tuition fees as protests against Israel intensify at varsities

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