ENS Paris Students Establish Encampment in Solidarity with Gaza

Students at École Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Paris set up an encampment on Tuesday to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. Around 40 students pitched tents to protest against Israel’s ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip and ENS’s ties with Israeli institutions.

The encampment area was symbolically renamed in honor of Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old Palestinian girl killed earlier this year in Gaza. Rajab became trapped in her family car on January 29 after it came under Israeli army fire in Gaza City and was found dead after nearly two weeks of uncertainty.

Protesters displayed pro-Palestinian signs condemning Israel’s attacks and the university’s cooperation with Israeli institutions, particularly Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Palestinian flags and banners featuring the names of Palestinians killed since October 7 last year adorned the walls of ENS.

Gedeon, one of the protesters, told Anadolu Agency that the administration quickly responded to the Ukraine crisis by launching specific programs for Ukrainian academics. However, he noted that nothing similar has been done for Gaza academics, despite the significant educational disruption caused by the conflict.

This protest at ENS Paris is part of a broader wave of pro-Palestine campus demonstrations. Students at Columbia University in New York launched a similar encampment on April 17, demanding their school divest from Israel. Similar protests and sit-ins have spread across campuses in Europe, including the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The Gaza conflict has resulted in over 35,000 deaths and 79,000 injuries, predominantly among women and children, according to Palestinian health authorities. The extensive damage to infrastructure has led to severe shortages of essential supplies in the Gaza Strip.

The International Court of Justice has accused Israel of genocide, ordering it to halt genocidal acts and ensure humanitarian aid is provided to Gaza’s civilians.–News Desk