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Pro-Palestinian protesters refuse to disband from Columbia University
Columbia University
Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/ShareAlike 4.0 International

Pro-Palestinian protesters refuse to disband from Columbia University

| @indiablooms | 24 Apr 2024, 10:26 pm

Pro-Palestinian students have refused to disband from the main campus of Columbia University in the US despite a midnight deadline being set by the institution's president.

Dr Minouche Shafik warned demonstrators that "alternative options" would have to be considered for clearing the area on the New York City campus if an agreement with demonstrators was not reached, reported BBC.

A group of protesters representing pro-Palestine said they would not engage in negotiations.

The standoff occurred as tense protests over the ongoing conflict in Gaza have spread to US colleges nationwide.

Some 133 people were arrested on Monday in protests at New York University, reported BBC.

Gaza protests have also been reported from colleges in US Midwest and on the West Coast.

At Columbia, officials told BBC on Tuesday that an ongoing protest encampment on university grounds - in Manhattan - is in violation of the rules.

Just after midnight, Columbia University Apartheid Divest - a coalition of pro-Palestinian student groups - said it would not continue to engage in negotiations "until there is a written commitment that the administration will not be unleashing the NYPD or the National Guard on its students", reported the British news channel.

Meanwhile, Jewish students have expressed concern over antisemitism on and around Columbia's campus.

US Senate approves USD 95bn aid package for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan

The US Senate has approved a foreign aid package worth USD 95 billion for military support for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. US President Joe Biden is expected to sign it into a law almost immediately.

The Senate on Tuesday (April 23, 2024) backed the measure which was passed by the US House of Representatives last week.

This includes USD 61bn in military aid for Ukraine, which the Pentagon says can start being delivered to the war-torn nation “within days”, reported BBC.

It was passed following a bipartisan vote of 79-18.

On October 7, 2023, the conflict began when Hamas gunmen carried out an unprecedented attack on southern Israel.

The attack left 1200 people dead and over 250 people were taken to Gaza as hostage.

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