California students disrupt Israeli mayor’s speech

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) talks withal-Quds (Jerusalem) mayor Nir Barkat, February 23, 2015. (AFP photo)

Pro-Palestinian students have disrupted an Israeli official’s speech in the US state of San Francisco, denouncing Tel Aviv’s hostility towards Palestinians.

The incident took place on Wednesday, when a large number of students interrupted a speech by the mayor of al-Quds (Jerusalem) Nir Barkat in the San Francisco State University in California.

Wearing the iconic Palestinian scarf keffiyeh, the anti-Israeli demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and sought to expel Barkat from the university campus.

The students also shouted slogans and called for intifada, a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli regime, and urged an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands.

They also called Israel an apartheid regime and chanted a popular pro-Palestinian cheer: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

The Israeli mayor in responses said he had informed the university's president and the mayor of San Francisco of the "shameful conduct," urging them not to permit "such dangerous incitement in a democratic country in general and on a campus in particular."

He also said that Israel will continue to pursue its current policies in the occupied lands.

Barkat is on a campus lecture tour in the US to discuss different matters related to Israeli and al-Quds and will next make a stop at Columbia University in New York.

The protests come amid heightened tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories due to Israel’s imposition in August 2015 of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.

Backed by Israeli forces, illegal Israeli settlers have also been violating the compound of the al-Aqsa Mosque as well as Palestinian properties in al-Quds.

At least 210 Palestinians, including women and children, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October last year.

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