DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Police Clear Pro-Palestinian Encampment at Columbia University, Arrest Over 100 Protesters

Police Clear Pro-Palestinian Encampment at Columbia University, Arrest Over 100 Protesters

In a recent development, the police in the US have dismantled a tent encampment set up by pro-Palestinian students at Columbia University, leading to the arrest of more than 100 demonstrators.

The arrests occurred on Thursday following the approval by Columbia University President Nemat Minouche Shafik for the New York Police Department to intervene on campus. This action came after Shafik faced questioning about alleged anti-Semitism at a House of Representatives committee hearing.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that over 108 arrests were made on charges of trespassing.

The university is taking action to identify and suspend students involved in the tent encampment, which was set up in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza during the Israeli conflict.

Notably, three students, Isra Hirsi, Maryam Iqbal, and Soph Dinu, have reportedly received suspension notices from Barnard College, a Columbia University affiliate, according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding, a pro-Palestinian advocacy group.

In a social media post, Hirsi, who is the daughter of US Representative Ilhan Omar, acknowledged her suspension, stating, "I've been suspended along with two others for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing genocide." She further added, "We, at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment, stand firm in our demands until they are addressed."

Protesters at Columbia have called for an immediate ceasefire in Israel's conflict with Gaza, cessation of US military support for Israel, and university divestment from companies benefiting from the conflict.

The recent conflict in Gaza was initiated by Israel on October 7 following an operation by the Palestinian Hamas resistance group in response to the Israeli regime's continued oppression. The conflict has resulted in the deaths of at least 33,970 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, and left 76,770 others injured.

Throughout the conflict, the US, a staunch ally of Israel, has expedited arms deliveries to Israel and blocked UN resolutions advocating for a Gaza ceasefire.

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