UK Premier urges universities to protect students amid campus pro-Palestinian protests

LONDON, (United Kingdom): British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday (May 9) called on university leaders to ensure the safety of all students amid pro-Palestinian demonstrations across campuses nationwide.

Sunak emphasised the importance of universities as bastions of tolerance, where respectful debate flourishes, and every student feels secure, as he met with the heads of universities at his Downing Street office, according to Anadolu Agency (AA).

"Universities should be places of rigorous debate, but also bastions of tolerance and respect for every member of their community.

"A vocal minority on our campuses are disrupting the lives and studies of their fellow students and, in some cases, propagating outright harassment and antisemitic abuse. That has to stop," he said.

The meeting aimed to address the response of higher education institutions to the surge in pro-Palestinian protests, with encampments appearing at more than a dozen campuses in solidarity with Gaza.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Israeli army seized control of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt, a vital route for humanitarian aid into the besieged territory.

On Monday, Israeli forces issued evacuation orders for Palestinians in eastern Rafah, in a move widely seen as a prelude to Israel's long-feared attack on the city, which is home to some 1.5 million displaced Palestinians. — BERNAMA

TAGS: Britain, Rishi Sunak, encampment, universities

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