Students shout slogans and display a giant Palestinian flag as they take part in a rally in support of Palestinians at the Sorbonne University in Paris on April 29, 2024. Image Credit: AFP

PARIS: Police moved in to clear dozens of protesters who had camped out in a courtyard in Sorbonne University in Paris on Monday to protest against the war in Gaza, a student there said.

The demonstration took place three days after protests at the capital’s elite Sciences Po university and came in the wake of rallies in campuses across the United States against the conflict.

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“We have every reason, like in Yale, in Columbia, in Sciences Po ... to condemn what we can see is happening,” the student, who only gave his name as Leonard, said at another rally outside the gates of the Sorbonne.

The university, one of the world’s oldest, closed its buildings for the day during the peaceful protests. Students chanted ‘Free Palestine’ and urged the institution to condemn Israel.

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A total of 253 hostages were seized in a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7 in which about 1,200 Israelis were also killed, according to Israeli counts.

Israel retaliated by imposing a siege on Gaza and mounting an air and ground assault that has killed at least 34,488 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities.

Several French politicians, including Mathilde Panot who heads the hard-left LFI group of lawmakers in the National Assembly, had urged supporters on social media to join the Sorbonne protests.