Updated April 27th, 2024 at 16:59 IST

Pro-Palestinian Students Peacefully Evacuate Paris University Campus Building After Protests

Students in Paris, inspired by Gaza solidarity at campuses in the US, peacefully evacuated a prestigious French university campus building after days of tensions.

Pro-Palestinian Students Peacefully Evacuate Paris University Campus Building After Protests | Image:AP

Paris: Students in Paris inspired by Gaza solidarity encampments at campuses in the United States peacefully evacuated a campus building at a prestigious French university late on Friday after days of tensions. The head of the Paris Institute of Political Studies, known as Sciences Po, said an agreement was found Friday with students. Sciences Po counts President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Gabriel Attal among its many famous alumni. Tensions had broken out on the campus as pro-Palestinian students sought to occupy an amphitheatre earlier this week.

On Friday, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators faced each other in a tense standoff in the street outside the school. Riot police stepped in to separate the opposing groups. Students later agreed to leave the site.


Pro-Palestinian protester and Sciences Po student Wajih, who declined to give his last name for fear of disciplinary sanctions by the university, said “the occupation has paused for now. But we'll still support the Palestinian movement at large, we'll support other universities, we'll support all over the globe until Palestine is free.” In an email to students, Sciences Po administrator Jean Bassères pledged Friday to hold a townhall meeting in the coming week and to suspend some disciplinary proceedings against students. In return, students “committed to no longer disrupting courses, examinations and all other activities of the institution,” the email said.

The university administration closed all university buildings and moved classes online Friday.


The Gaza war is sharply divisive in France, which has the largest populations of Muslims and Jews in western Europe. France initially sought to ban pro-Palestinian demonstrations after Hamas' surprise October 7 attack on Israel that sparked the war. Antisemitism has surged. (AP) GSP


Published April 27th, 2024 at 16:59 IST