Police remove pro-Palestinian students occupying Paris university

Police entered Paris's prestigious Sciences Po university on Friday to remove dozens of students staging a pro-Palestinian sit-in in the entrance hall, as opposition to the Israel-Hamas conflict spreads to higher education institutions in other parts of France.

One student told French news agency AFP he and other protestors had been peacefully brought out in groups of 10 by officers, while another, Lucas, said "some students were dragged and others gripped by the head or shoulders".

The university was closed for the day on Friday in response to the sit-in, with a heavy police presence around its main building.

Jack, a Sciences Po student who declined to give his surname, said he was one of around 70 people who spent Thursday night occupying one of the university's main buildings in central Paris.

He told Reuters news agency that protesters had rejected an ultimatum by university officials on Thursday to clear large parts of the building and restrict their movement to a determined smaller area.

Students from universities across Paris gathered at the Panthéon monument on Friday afternoon.

Sciences Po's interim director Jean Bassères on Thursday rejected demands by protesters to review its relations with Israeli universities, prompting protesters to continue their movement.

Prime Minister Gabriel Attal's office said the protests would be dealt with rigorously, adding that 23 university sites had been "evacuated" on Thursday.

But on Friday, Sciences Po Lyon, an unaffiliated university in France's third largest city, was also blocked by protesting students, as well as the Lille school of journalism.

(with newswires)

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
Paris university refuses to cut ties with Israel amid pro-Palestinian protests
Students at prestigious Paris university protest over Israel-Gaza war
Pro-Palestinian protesters disrupt Paris's Sorbonne university