Oxford University Building Locked Down Due To Gaza Protest

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A University of Oxford building has been locked down following an occupation by a pro-Palestinian protest group.

Oxford Action for Palestine (OA4P) organized a sit-in at the university offices on Wellington Square, demanding a meeting with the university to review its policies on the Israel-Gaza conflict. Large numbers of police are present at the scene.

BBC Radio Oxford reporter Phil Mercer-Kelly, who is at the location, said that hundreds of people were outside the building, being prevented by police from entering. He noted a “big movement” as police pushed a group back to Little Clarendon Street to allow police vans to leave.

Some protesters are inside the building, and a Palestinian flag has been hung from a window alongside a list of demands. The university has not yet responded to a request for comment. Thames Valley Police has also been contacted by the BBC for a response.

On 6 May, “liberated zones” were established at Oxford’s Museum of Natural History and King’s College, Cambridge. The demonstrators are calling for the universities to cut financial ties with Israel following its offensive in Gaza.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza reports that more than 33,000 people have been killed in Israel’s offensive, the majority of them civilians.

Israel denies accusations of genocidal acts and insists on its right to defend itself following the armed incursion by Hamas on 7 October.