Police detain 200 at Palestine protest camps in three US universities

Police detain 200 at Palestine protest camps in three US universities
US police cleared pro-Palestinian encampments and detained hundreds of people at 3 universities on Saturday as protests against Israel's war on Gaza continue.
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Police have carried out large-scale arrests at universities in recent days, at times using chemical irritants and tasers to disperse demonstrators [Getty]

Police detained nearly 200 people at three US universities on Saturday as they cleared pro-Palestinian encampments, in the latest raids on students protesting against Israel's war on Gaza.

Dozens of students remained encamped Saturday at the University of Pennsylvania, despite the college president ordering disbandment after what he said were "credible reports of harassing and intimidating conduct."

Meanwhile, Columbia University in New York, where the protests originated, was relatively calm. Officials there announced Friday that they would not be calling police back to campus after more than 100 people were arrested last week.

"To bring back the NYPD at this time would be counterproductive, further inflaming what is happening on campus, and drawing thousands to our doorstep who would threaten our community," school leaders said in a statement, referring to the New York Police Department.

California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt announced it was closing campus until the end of the semester, with instruction and work continuing remotely.

Canada saw its first campus protest camp spring up Saturday at McGill University. 

The protesters are calling for their universities to divest from companies linked to Israel's brutal war on Gaza, which has killed over 34,000 people, mostly women and children and devastated the territory.