New York mayor says at least 300 arrested in pro-Palestinian protests

As light rain falls, New York City police officers take people into custody near the Columbia University campus in New York, Tuesday, April 30, 2024
As light rain falls, New York City police officers take people into custody near the Columbia University campus in New York, Tuesday, April 30, 2024 Copyright AP
Copyright AP
By Euronews with AP
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New York City officers entered the Columbia University campus after administrators requested help.


Pro-Palestinian protests have been cleared at Columbia University and City College in New York, with at least 300 protesters arrested, New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement on Wednesday.

Police have carried out raids at Columbia on Tuesday to stop pro-Palestinian demonstrations, bursting into an administration building protesters had taken over and making dozens of arrests.

A statement released by a Columbia spokesperson said New York City officers entered the campus after the university requested help. A tent encampment on the school's grounds to protest the Israel-Hamas war was cleared, and the university's Hamilton Hall was emptied.

“After the University learned overnight that Hamilton Hall had been occupied, vandalised, and blockaded, we were left with no choice,” the school said.

“The decision to reach out to the NYPD was in response to the actions of the protesters, not the cause they are championing. We have made it clear that the life of campus cannot be endlessly interrupted by protesters who violate the rules and the law.”

NYPD spokesman Carlos Nieves said he had no immediate reports of any injuries. The arrests occurred after protesters had shrugged off an earlier ultimatum to abandon the encampment.

'The time is now'

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli leaders on Wednesday to push for a ceasefire deal between Israel and Hamas. "The time is now,” he said, referring to a proposed deal that would free hostages and bring a pause in fighting after nearly seven months of almost unbroken war.

Blinken is on his seventh visit to the region since the war erupted in October, aiming to avert an Israeli incursion into the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are sheltering there after fleeing their homes, many of them at Israel's instruction.

“We are determined to get a ceasefire that brings the hostages home and to get it now, and the only reason that that wouldn’t be achieved is because of Hamas,” Blinken told Israel’s President Isaac Herzog at a meeting in Tel Aviv.

“There is a proposal on the table, and as we’ve said, no delays, no excuses,” he said.

Blinken’s comments came on the last leg of his regional visit, with previous stops in Saudi Arabia and Jordan, where he urged Hamas to accept the latest proposal. He called the draft deal “extraordinarily generous” on Israel’s part.

Hamas has demanded assurances that an eventual release of all hostages will bring a end to Israel’s nearly seven-month assault in Gaza and a withdrawal of its troops from the devastated territory.

Israel has offered only an extended pause, vowing to resume its offensive once the first phase of the deal is over.

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