Europe student Gaza protests spread, sparking clashes, arrests

Student protests to demand that universities break ties with Israel over the Gaza war spread across Europe on Tuesday, with police breaking up demonstrations in the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Students at some elite European universities, inspired by ongoing demonstrations at US campuses, have been occupying university halls and facilities, demanding an end to partnerships with Israeli institutions because of Israel's punishing assault on Gaza.

At the University of Amsterdam, images on public broadcaster NOS showed police baton-charging protesters and smashing up tents at around 4:00 am (0200 GMT), after they refused to leave the campus.

"The demonstration took on a violent nature because later in the evening massive stones were removed from the ground," police said in a statement.

At Berlin's Free University, police also cleared a demonstration after up to 80 people set up a protest camp in a courtyard of the campus early Tuesday.

The protesters, some of whom wore the keffiyeh scarf that has long been a symbol of the Palestinian cause, sat in front of tents and waved banners.

They later tried to enter rooms and lecture halls and occupy them, according to the university, which said it then called in the police to clear the protest.

Videos on social media showed officers carrying away some protesters.

The university said property was damaged while classes in some buildings were suspended for the day.

Berlin police said they made some arrests for incitement to hatred and trespassing.

France, Switzerland demos

In Paris, police Tuesday twice intervened at Paris's prestigious Sciences Po university to disperse about 20 students who had barricaded themselves in the university's main hall.

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