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Dozens arrested in new pro-Palestinian protests at UCLA

LOS ANGELES — Police thwarted attempts by pro-Palestinian demonstrators to set up a new encampment at the University of California, Los Angeles, where officers cleared a previous camp this spring after it was attacked by counterprotesters.

Approximately 25 people were arrested late Monday for willful disruption of university operations and one for interfering with an officer, UCLA police said in a statement. The individuals were cited, issued 14-day orders to stay away from UCLA and then released.

The demonstrators repeatedly tried to set up tents, canopies and barriers as they moved to various locations, disrupting nearby final exams.

The group also damaged a fountain, spray-painted brick walkways, tampered with fire safety equipment, damaged patio furniture, stripped wire from electrical fixtures and vandalized vehicles, the statement said.

Protest camps have sprung up on university campuses across the U.S. and in Europe as students demand their universities stop doing business with Israel or companies that support its war efforts.

Organizers have sought to amplify calls to end Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, which began after Hamas-led terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 hostage. More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed in the ensuing war, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza.

UCLA has been repeatedly roiled by protests and the university administration’s handling of the situation.

At one point, a pro-Palestinian encampment was attacked by counterprotesters, with no immediate response from police, and dozens were then arrested as the camp was cleared.

The episode led to reassignment of the campus police chief and creation of a new campus safety office. A subsequent attempt to set up a new camp was also blocked.

Monday’s protest comes just days before University of California regents are scheduled to meet at UCLA and this coming weekend’s commencement ceremonies.

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