Students at prestigious Paris university protest over Israel-Gaza war

Students at one of France's top universities occupied its premises overnight Thursday after police broke up a pro-Palestinian demonstration there on Wednesday. It follows similar waves of anger across college campuses in the US in protest over Israel's bombardment of Gaza.

Several dozen students at the Paris campus of Sciences Po staged a sit-in Thursday night. Rubbish bins and and other material blocked the main entrance on Friday morning, the French news agency AFP reported.

Organisers – members of the university's Palestine Committee of Sciences Po – are calling for a "clear condemnnation of Israel's action by Sciences Po" and a cut in ties with universities and companies that are complicit in "the systemic oppression of the Palestinian people".

The committee also demands a commemorative event "in memory of the innocent people killed by Israel".

Police evacuation

Police intervened on Wednesday evening as dozens of students gathered on the campus for a pro-Palestinian rally.

"After discussions with management, most of them agreed to leave the premises," university officials said in a statement to AFP – saying the protest was adding to "tensions" at the university.

But after a small group of students refused to leave, "it was decided that the police would evacuate the site," the statement added.

Sciences Po said it regretted that "numerous attempts" to have the students leave the premises peacefully had failed.

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