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French police crack down on anti-Israel protests at Sorbonne

A police officer detains a young woman during a protest at the Sorbonne University in Paris on April 29, 2024. (AFP)

French police have violently crushed pro-Palestinian protesters, dragging them on the ground after they set up camps at the Sorbonne University to call for an end to Israel’s brutalities in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Police evacuated demonstrators from the premises of the university after the students had set up tents in a courtyard on Monday.

One student said they were “around 50 people when law enforcement forces came running into the courtyard.”

“The evacuation was quite brutal with around 10 people dragged on the ground but no arrests.”

Authorities said earlier that the students had caused exams to be cancelled after they had set up tents in the courtyard and hallway of the university.

More than 150 protesters also gathered outside the campus, waving a giant Palestinian flag and chanting slogans like, “Gaza, Sorbonne is with you,” and "Israel murderer."

“We're here following the call from students at Harvard and Columbia," said another Sorbonne student.

Students display a giant Palestinian flag as they take part in a rally in support of Palestinians at the Sorbonne University in Paris on April 29, 2024. (AFP)

Police cleared several such protests at other universities, including the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) on Thursday. The students, however, maintained their sit-in the next day until university management had to agree to soon hold an internal debate including on the right to protest.

Pro-Palestinian student protests and encampments have spilled over to campuses around the world since similar protests sparked across the United States to demand the leadership of their universities cut financial ties with Israel.

The regime has killed nearly 34,500 people in the over-populated Gaza Strip since October 7, 2023.

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