Students across Europe hold Gaza war protests in run-up to UN vote on Palestinian statehood

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Students across Europe hold Gaza war protests in run-up to UN vote on Palestinian statehood
theguardian.com

Thirty-two people were arrested as Dutch police broke up a Gaza war protest at the University of Amsterdam, in a second day of unrest over the conflict. Police said the offences included public violence, vandalism and assault.

Video captured by Reuters appeared to show officers in riot gear striking protesters and police knocking down makeshift barricades of desks, bricks and wooden pallets that seemingly had been used to set off fire extinguishers in hopes of pushing them back. The footage appeared to also show police dragging several students away as hundreds shouted: “Shame on you!”

About 30 miles south, at Utrecht University, students occupied a building in protest while in Belgium, dozens of students have continued to occupy Ghent University in a three-day protest that has fused demands about Gaza and the climate crisis.

In Spain, demonstrations and encampments continued at several campuses across the country. At the University of Valencia, where tents were set up 11 days ago, about 50 people are calling on Spain to sever ties with Israel. At Madrid’s Complutense University about 200 students crammed into 80 tents in an encampment launched this week. Similar initiatives have sprung up in Barcelona and the Basque Country.

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Video captured by Reuters appeared to show officers in riot gear striking protesters and police knocking down makeshift barricades of desks, bricks and wooden pallets that seemingly had been used to set off fire extinguishers in hopes of pushing them back.

Rutte also asserted that “more and more often, and with increasingly harsh words, the violence in Gaza is being blamed on Jewish Dutch people”, describing this as unjustified and a “form of antisemitism that we must continue to fight loudly and clearly”.

The protests in Spain received a boost from the country’s minister of science, innovation and universities, Diana Morant, who told reporters this week that she was “proud” of the students for mobilising.

Another source told RTÉ that talks had intensified between Spain and Ireland, as well as Slovenia and Malta – the four countries which signed on to a March statement declaring they were ready to recognise Palestinian statehood when “the circumstances are right”.

In the run-up to plans to put forward a draft resolution that would recognise Palestine as qualified to become a full UN member at the UN general assembly on Friday, Albares said Spain was prepared to vote in favour.

The MEPs – Greens, Socialists, radical left and a few liberals – called for EU sanctions against Israel as “the only adequate response to this horrendous and reckless military campaign in Rafah and the rest of the Gaza Strip”.


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