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Police Arrests and Tear Gas: Intensifying Pro-Palestine Protests Shake Europe

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Discover the recent surge of pro-Palestine protests across Europe leading to student arrests in Vienna and police crackdowns in Brussels, stirring international human rights concerns.

Tension Escalates as Pro-Palestine Protests Spread Across Europe

In a series of escalating pro-Palestine protests, Austrian police arrested 16 students at the Vienna University of Technology on Wednesday. The students had set up tents in the university's garden as part of a sit-in to oppose the Israeli military actions in Gaza, which have been ongoing for about eight months. The Vienna Police claimed the demonstration was unnotified and could disturb public order, partly due to the use of the banned slogan “Intifada.”

The incident in Austria is part of a larger student movement that started on April 18 at Columbia University in New York. Students demanded the university cease academic cooperation with Israeli institutions and pull investments from companies backing the occupation of Palestinian territories. This movement has since spread to multiple universities worldwide, including those in France, Britain, Germany, Canada, India, and Ireland, all advocating to stop the Gaza war and boycott companies supplying arms to Israel.

Brussels Demonstrations and Police Response

In Brussels, Belgian police resorted to using water cannons and tear gas on Wednesday to disperse a 300-strong protest in front of the Israeli embassy. Demonstrators wore keffiyehs and waved Palestinian flags, chanting slogans such as “The occupation must end.” Some protesters threw garbage cans and projectiles at police officers who were blocking access to the embassy, which is located in Uccle, a southern municipality of the Brussels-Capital region.

The police had already dispersed a similar gathering at the same location the day before, which led to condemnations from Amnesty International and the Human Rights League. These organizations criticized the use of force, arguing that the lack of a license for the demonstration was insufficient justification for such measures. Amnesty International called for an investigation into the police's actions, stressing that peaceful demonstration rights should be upheld.

  • Vienna Police stated that the unauthorized demonstration had potential to disturb public order.
  • The protests in Vienna are part of a broader student movement that began at Columbia University in New York.
  • Belgian police faced criticism for their use of force in dispersing protests in front of the Israeli embassy in Brussels.
  • Amnesty International and the Human Rights League have called for investigations into the police actions in Brussels.
Daily Reports
Refs: | Le Figaro | Aljazeera |

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