Group of Students Continue Solidarity Action with Palestine at Columbia University 

New York, MINA – A group of pro-Palestinian students from Columbia University in New York City entered the Hamilton Hall building on the university campus after negotiations with the school administration failed to reach a compromise, according to local media, Anadolu Agency reports.

The university administration has issued disciplinary actions and initiated the suspension of some students after pro-Palestinian demonstrators refused to vacate encampments on campus established in solidarity with Gaza by the 2 p.m. deadline on Monday.

A group of students entered the historic Hamilton Hall building located on the university’s central campus late Monday night.

Some students blocked the main entrance and chanted “Free Palestine” slogans, according to the New York Times.

Columbia students unfurled a banner that reads “Hind’s Hall,” in reference to Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old girl killed by Israeli forces.

In a statement on Monday, Columbia President Nemat Minouche Shafik acknowledged the breakdown of talks between the university and the protesters, adding that the university has declined to “divest from Israel.”

Columbia University will not meet a central demand of pro-Palestinian protesters who should “voluntarily disperse” amid stalled talks, Shafik said.

Since Wednesday, a “small group of academic leaders” have been in “constructive dialogue” with protest organizers “to find a path that would result in the dismantling of the encampment and adherence to University policies going forward,” he added.

“While the University will not divest from Israel, the University offered to develop an expedited timeline for review of new proposals from the students by the Advisory Committee for Socially Responsible Investing, the body that considers divestment matters,” she added.

Shafik asked protesters to voluntarily shutter the encampment, vaguely alluding to consultations with “a broader group” to examine “alternative internal options to end this crisis as soon as possible.”

Hundreds of students have been arrested on campuses across the country with protests demanding universities divest from Israel and condemn its ongoing war on the besieged Gaza Strip where over 34,400 people have been killed. The vast majority of the dead have been women and children.

Palestinian journalists, academics, and activists have been frequently killed.

Israel has also targeted Gaza’s places of higher education, with all of its 12 major universities being destroyed. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees, or UNRWA, has separately reported mass destruction at the sprawling network of schools it operates in the coastal enclave. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)