32 arrested after protesters clash with Dutch police in latest unrest at U of Amsterdam

Dutch Police officers try to stop demonstrators on the Rokin, who support pro-Palestinian students occupying the University of Amsterdam, as they continue their protest calling for the university to sever all ties with Israel because of war against Hamas in Gaza, on May 8, 2024. (Ramon van Flymen/AFP)
Dutch Police officers try to stop demonstrators on the Rokin, who support pro-Palestinian students occupying the University of Amsterdam, as they continue their protest calling for the university to sever all ties with Israel because of war against Hamas in Gaza, on May 8, 2024. (Ramon van Flymen/AFP)

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch riot police clashed with pro-Palestinian protesters as officers moved in to clear barricades at the University of Amsterdam, scene of upheaval since Monday.

Police say they arrested 32 people for “violence, destruction, assault and incitement” at the university and on a major thoroughfare in the center of the Dutch capital.

Local television images show dozens of police dressed in riot gear exchanging blows with a group of protesters as officers clear out an area in front of the Binnengasthuis building in Amsterdam’s city center.

Police said the protesters then blocked a major local road called the Rokin where violence also broke out, adding demonstrators “threw ammonia at riot police.”

Students are demanding that the University of Amsterdam (UvA) sever ties with Israel over the war against Hamas in Gaza and are inspired by ongoing demonstrations at US campuses.

A little before midnight, Amsterdam police said on X that the situation was “calm” and most of the protesters had left the area.

They had previously said the clearance “operation has been authorized by the mayor” after the UvA laid charges including disturbing the peace and destruction of property.

Police say the protesters were not just students, but also included people “who were not affiliated to the university and were deliberately seeking conflict with the police.”

The protests started at the university on Monday. At least 169 people have been arrested.

The Amsterdam city council is due to have an emergency debate about the ongoing demonstrations on Friday.

Protesters were also gathering elsewhere in the Netherlands, including at the Utrecht University campus, reports say.

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