Pro-Palestinian Protesters at Sciences Po in Paris Retreat After Standoff

Pro-Palestinian students occupy Paris university, clash with pro-Israeli peers, demand school cuts ties with Israel over Gaza war.

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Pro-Palestinian Protests at Sciences Po in Paris Prompt University to Move Classes Online

Pro-Palestinian Protesters at Sciences Po in Paris Retreat After Standoff. Photo credit: Jeffrey Schaeffer / Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian students who occupied a campus building and clashed with pro-Israeli demonstrators on Friday at the prestigious Sciences Po University in Paris, France, have started retreating.

The protest is believed to be inspired by Gaza solidarity protests at U.S. campuses. The protesters blocked the entrance to a central campus building with chairs, bikes, and other objects, and about 40 students remained in the building overnight.

Later, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators faced off in a tense standoff outside the school, prompting riot police intervention. The university administration condemned the student actions, closed all buildings, and moved classes online in response to the disruptive protests.

The students' demands included that Sciences Po sever ties with Israeli schools.

Why this matters: The protests at Sciences Po are part of a broader wave of campus demonstrations related to the Israel-Hamas war, with similar protests occurring at universities across the U.S. The Gaza war has become a divisive issue in France, which has the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in Western Europe.

The ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict has killed over 34,000 Palestinians, according to health authorities in Gaza. The student protesters at Sciences Po, like those at U.S. campuses, are showing solidarity with Palestinians amid the war. Similar pro-Palestinian protests have been occurring at campuses worldwide, including in Australia, the UK, and France, with students demanding their institutions cut ties with Israel and condemn its actions.

Key Takeaways

  • Pro-Palestinian students occupied a building at Sciences Po university in Paris.
  • Protesters clashed with pro-Israeli demonstrators, prompting riot police intervention.
  • Students demanded Sciences Po sever ties with Israeli schools, university agreed to meet.
  • Protests at Sciences Po part of broader campus demonstrations over Israel-Hamas war.
  • Gaza war has become a divisive issue in France with large Muslim and Jewish populations.