canada africa partner reservation Students in Ireland and Switzerland join the wave of protests in Gaza

Students in Ireland and Switzerland join the wave of protests in Gaza

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Students from Trinity College Dublin and Lausanne University in Switzerland have organized occupations to protest Israel’s war in Gaza, joining a wave of demonstrations sweeping American campuses.

In Dublin, students built an encampment on Friday that forced the university to restrict access to campus on Saturday and close the Book of Kells exhibition, one of Ireland’s top tourist attractions.

The camp was set up after the student union said the university had been fined 214,000 euros ($230,000) for losses caused by protests in recent months, not exclusively over Gaza. The protesters demanded that Trinity cut academic ties with Israel and divest companies with ties to Israel.

Student union president Laszlo Molnarfia posted a photo of stacked benches at the entrance to the building that houses the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript created by Celtic monks around 800 AD.

Trinity College said it had restricted access to students, staff and residents to ensure safety, and that the exhibition would be closed on Saturday.

More than 34,600 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s seven-month assault on the Gaza Strip, health officials in the Hamas-ruled enclave say. The war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and kidnapping 252 others, 133 of whom are believed to be trapped in Gaza, according to Israeli figures.

Pro-Palestinian protests have also been held at universities in Australia and Canada.

In Lausanne, about 100 students occupied a building to support demands, including an end to scientific cooperation with Israel.

“Palestinians have been dying for more than 200 days, but we are not being heard,” a protester told Swiss television on Saturday.

“Now there is a global movement pushing governments to take action, but that’s not happening. That is why we want to involve universities now.”

The university said the occupation could continue until Monday, provided it did not disrupt campus operations.

“We universities are not obliged to take political positions,” the university’s rector, Frederic Herman, told RTS radio. Last week, the head of Trinity College, Linda Doyle, said it was reviewing its investments, but it was up to individual academics to do so. decide whether to cooperate with Israeli institutions.

(Reuters/FILE PHOTO: Students protest on University of Michigan campus)