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Where pro-Palestinian university protests are happening around the world


London — Protests in solidarity with Palestinians amid Israel’s ongoing war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip have swept across college campuses in the United States in recent weeks, but they’ve also spread rapidly around the world. 

Demonstrations have cropped up on campuses at major universities across the Arab and Western world as the war grinds on. Below is a look at where some of the larger protests have taken shape.

Lebanon

In Lebanon, hundreds of students gathered at university campuses across the country’s capital Beirut this week. Video posted online from the American University of Beirut showed demonstrators waving Palestinian flags and posters emblazoned with messages demanding the university cut all business ties with Israel.

“This is not just about Palestinians, of course — it is, but it’s also about what’s happening to us in our own country,” Karine Ballout, a 23-year-old Lebanese student at the university, told CBS News on Thursday. “We are asking for the immediate end to the U.S.-backed Israeli genocide on the Palestinians, and also for the immediate end of the U.S.-backed Israeli aggressions on Lebanon.”

Israel has exchanged fire with the Lebanon-based Hezbollah group, a Hamas ally that’s also backed by Iran, since the war started on Oct. 7. The war was sparked by Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel that killed some 1,200 people and saw the militants seize about 240 others as hostages. There are still 100 people, including five U.S. nationals, believed to be alive and captive in Gaza.  

Students take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration at the American University of Beirut, April 30, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas in Gaza.
Students take part in a pro-Palestinian demonstration at the American University of Beirut, April 30, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas in Gaza.

Fadel Itani/NurPhoto via Getty Images


“Of course we were inspired by the protests in the U.S., and Columbia University in particular,” Rayyan Kilani, 21, a student at the American University, told the Reuters news agency. 

Jordan

Thousands of protesters have also demonstrated in Jordan, which, like Lebanon, borders Israel, in solidarity with Palestinians since the war broke out, including university students.

Jordanian authorities have cracked down on university activists over the past seven months of the war, however, and activists called off a sit-in that had been planned for Tuesday at Jordan University in Amman, Reuters reported.

DAWN, an organization focused on human rights in the Middle East, has said at least nine students have been arrested and five expelled or suspended for participating in pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Jordan since Oct. 7.

“While King Abdullah is loudly protesting the war in Gaza to the international community, he’s not allowing Jordanians the same right to express their own views,” said DAWN’s Senior Consultant Jamal Al Tahat in a March press release.

United Kingdom

Mass demonstrations have taken place on university campuses across the U.K. since the war began, including at Oxford University, Newcastle University, Warwick University and University College London, among others.

A student adjusts a sign at an encampment on the grounds of Newcastle University, protesting against the war in Gaza, May 2, 2024. Students at universities in Leeds, Newcastle and Bristol have set up tents outside university buildings, replicating the nationwide campus demonstrations that started in the U.S.
A student adjusts a sign at an encampment on the grounds of Newcastle University, protesting against the war in Gaza, May 2, 2024. Students at universities in Leeds, Newcastle and Bristol have set up tents outside university buildings, replicating the nationwide campus demonstrations that started in the U.S.

Owen Humphreys/PA Images via Getty Images


At University College London, protesters have called for the school to sever its link with Tel Aviv University and to cut all economic ties with weapons manufacturers they say are supporting Israel’s war effort.

“Our demands are basically to demand of UCL to end its complicity in what we see as a genocide in Gaza … to demand an academic boycott because Tel Aviv, like many other Israeli universities, is embedded in the Israeli military establishment,” Bushra, a 24-year-old UCL master’s student who only gave her first name, told CBS News on Thursday. “UCL has collaborations with BAE Systems, with Lockheed Martin — there has been no statement about the ethical nature of these partnerships.”

Bushra said she stood in solidarity with U.S. protesters as they face police crackdowns on some campuses, but she stressed that the focus should be on Gaza.

“Activists at Columbia have said the same thing,” she told CBS News. “Whatever oppression they face is not the tiniest fraction of the suffering that the people in Palestine are facing.”

France

At France’s renowned Sciences Po Paris university, protesters have clashed with riot police over the last week, with several dozen officers entering the school to clear out about 60 protesters who had set up an encampment, according to Le Monde newspaper.

Students block the entrance of the ESJ Superior School of Journalism in Lille, northern France, May 2, 2024, during a pro-Palestinian solidarity demonstration amid Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza.
Students block the entrance of the ESJ Superior School of Journalism in Lille, northern France, May 2, 2024, during a pro-Palestinian solidarity demonstration amid Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP via Getty Images


On Wednesday, the Sciences Po Palestine Committee, which has organized the protests, posted a map showing where protests against the war in Gaza were scheduled at universities across France.

“While American universities’ students are being repressed, the movement is spreading throughout France,” the group said in its Instagram post.

Australia

Sit-in college protests have also popped up in the Australian cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and the capital Canberra, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp., mirroring the tent camps on U.S. universities.

Australian students have also called for their universities to divest from Israel and disclose and cut ties with weapons manufacturers that do business with Israel, the Australian national broadcaster said.

As on some U.S. campuses, there have been reports of antisemitism amid the protests at universities across Australia.

On Wednesday, the Australian Union of Jewish Students said that, since the outbreak of the war, “Jewish students have been targeted at university events and demanded to declare their political stances during classes publicly,” adding its concern that, “we are witnessing a further escalation in the vilification of Jewish students.”

Canada

Closer to the chaos unfolding in the U.S., student protesters set up a camp on a common at the University of Toronto’s campus, Canadian national broadcaster CBC reported Thursday. 

Pro-Palestinian students and other protesters set up camp on the University of Toronto campus in solidarity with Palestinians, at King's College Circle in Toronto, Ontario, May 2, 2024.
Pro-Palestinian students and other protesters set up camp on the University of Toronto campus in solidarity with Palestinians, at King’s College Circle in Toronto, Ontario, May 2, 2024.

Mert Alper Dervis/Anadolu via Getty Images


Activists there issued similar demands for their university to divest from assets that “sustain Israeli apartheid, occupation and illegal settlement of Palestine,” according to CBC News





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