Dozens of protesters arrested in George Washington University

Comer expressed disappointment over what he perceived as a failure on the part of the D.C. police force to address the situation adequately….reports Asian Lite News

Washington police took action early Wednesday morning, dispersing a pro-Palestinian encampment at George Washington University and making multiple arrests, as confirmed by authorities.

According to AFP report, the operation unfolded shortly after 4:00 am, with a significant police presence converging on a university quad, employing tactics such as arrests and pepper spray, according to reports from the student-led GW Hatchet newspaper and CNN, which estimated around three dozen individuals were detained.

As morning progressed, police maintained their presence at the scene, witnessed by an AFP reporter, overseeing the removal of tents and other paraphernalia, with one student holding a “Free Palestine” sign nearby.

This development coincided with the scheduled testimony of Washington, D.C.’s mayor and police chief before Congress, regarding the prolonged existence of the encampment, which had entered its second week.

Following the clearance of the encampment, House Oversight Committee Republicans, under the leadership of Representative James Comer, opted to cancel the anticipated hearing.

Comer expressed disappointment over what he perceived as a failure on the part of the D.C. police force to address the situation adequately.

In response, the police department defended its actions, asserting efforts to deescalate tensions prior to resorting to arrests. However, citing escalating incidents and information, they deemed it necessary to intervene.

The encampment at George Washington University forms part of a broader wave of campus protests nationwide, with students voicing opposition to the conflict in Gaza and advocating for divestment from U.S. weapons manufacturers and Israeli institutions.

US President Joe Biden has strongly condemned anti-Semitism at pro-Palestinian protests at universities and reaffirmed his “ironclad” support for Israel.

“My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad. Even when we disagree,” Biden said at the US Capitol on Tuesday at an event commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.

“There is no place on any campus in America or any place in America for anti-Semitism or hate speech or threats of violence of any kind,” he said.

Some of the rallies in support of Palestine at US campuses have also criticized Biden’s Middle East policy. He, meanwhile, has become more critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s actions in the Gaza war.

In his speech, Biden said people must learn from history, and pointed to the unprecedented massacre of more than 1,200 people by militants from the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas and other groups in Israel on October 7 that led to the war.

Too many people deny, denigrate or distort the Holocaust and October 7, including the “appalling use of sexual violence by Hamas to torture and terrorize Jews,” Biden said. This is “despicable” and must stop.

ALSO READ: Biden condemns anti-Semitism, backs Israel

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