Over 100 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested at Columbia university in New York

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Police arrested more than 100 pro-Palestinian student protesters at New York’s Columbia University Thursday, a day after the president of the prestigious school was grilled in Congress over accusations of anti-Semitism on campus.

“NYPD officers moved in to ensure the safety of the campus, the students and the staff made more than 108 arrests, and the NYPD ensured that there was no violence or injuries during the disturbance,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said during a press conference.

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The arrests and dismantling of tents that had been erected Wednesday also attracted a crowd of other demonstrators in support, according to an AFP journalist.

According to The New York Times, the daughter of Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar was among those detained and she has been ordered to appear in court.

The students were calling for the school, which has an exchange program with Tel Aviv University, to boycott all activities associated with Israel in light of the country’s war with Hamas and the ensuing humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

University president Nemat Shafik requested police intervention to disperse the protesters, who she said had violated campus security regulations.

Universities have become the focus of intense cultural debate in the United States since the October 7 Hamas attack and Israel’s responding bombardment of Gaza, as many students’ pro-Palestinian sentiments drew accusations of anti-Semitism.

Congressional Republicans have taken up the issue, calling the presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University to testify, and Harvard’s president Claudine Gay resigned shortly after.

Shafik herself appeared in Congress Wednesday, where she said “anti-Semitism has no place on our campus.”

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