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US police arrest 108 pro-Palestine protesters at Columbia University 

Students and pro-Palestinian activists face police as they gather outside of Columbia University in New York City on April 18, 2024. (Photo by AFP)

The US police have cleared an encampment of tents set up by pro-Palestinian students at Columbia University, arresting more than 100 protesters.

The arrests took place on Thursday after Columbia University President Nemat Minouche Shafik authorized the New York Police Department to raid the campus following a grilling at a House of Representatives committee on so-called anti-Semitism.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said police made over 108 arrests related to alleged trespassing.

The university said it had started to identify and suspend the students who had participated in the tent encampment in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip amid an Israeli war.

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

In an X post, Hirsi, the daughter of US Representative Ilhan Omar, confirmed that she had “received notice that I am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide.”

"Those of us in Gaza Solidarity Encampment will not be intimidated. We will stand resolute until our demands are met,” she said in another post.

Protesters at Columbia have demanded a permanent ceasefire in Israel's Gaza war and an end to US military assistance for the regime, as well as university divestment from companies profiting from the aggression.

Israel waged its brutal war on the besieged Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out a historic operation against the usurping entity in retaliation for the regime’s intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

The Tel Aviv regime has so far killed at least 33,970 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 76,770 others.

Since the start of the onslaught, the US, Israel's most dedicated ally, has fast-tracked arms shipments to the occupying regime and blocked UN resolutions that called for a Gaza truce.

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