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Police disperse pro-Palestine rally at Swiss University of ETH Zurich

Pro-Palestinian students occupy part of the SG building of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, May 7, 2024. (Photo by EPA)

Police have cleared a pro-Palestine protest rally at the Swiss University of ETH Zurich as demonstrations in support of the besieged Gaza Strip spread to other cities of the central European country.

“ETH Zurich sees itself as a place where different opinions and perspectives can and should be expressed openly. However, unauthorized actions are not accepted at ETH Zurich,” ETH university claimed on Tuesday, adding that protesters had time and again been asked to leave the building before police arrived.

Last week, students at Lausanne University (UNIL) started a protest encampment and anti-Israel protests have since spread to at least three more sites in Zurich, Geneva and Lausanne.

“We consider the steps they've taken to be peaceful and good natured aimed at bringing to the public's attention a dramatic situation,” UNIL political science professor Bernard Voutat said on a day earlier. “We teachers cannot remain silent.”

Students, wearing keffiyehs and carrying Palestinian flags, chant “free, free Palestine” and “viva, viva Palestina.”

Separately on Tuesday, similar protests reportedly began in the University of Geneva and the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.

Over the past few weeks, university campuses across the United States have also become the battleground for demonstrations against the Israel’s war on Gaza, resulting in a series of tense and violent encounters.

The students are calling for an end to Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza and demanding schools divest from companies that support the Israeli regime.

Israel has killed more than 34,600 people, 70 percent of whom women and children, in Gaza since early October, according to the Gaza health ministry. 

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