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University of Pennsylvania struck by anti-Israel activist encampments, joining growing list of colleges in US

Anti-Israel activists struck the University of Pennsylvania’s campus on Thursday, constructing encampments on Penn's College Green.

Anti-Israel activists constructed encampments on College Green on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus on Thursday.

The Ivy League institution released a statement explaining that a "group of individuals led a series of protests that began at Temple University and traveled to Philadelphia City Hall and to Drexel University. At approximately 4:00 p.m., these protestors arrived on Locust Walk, joining with members of our Penn community."

There are currently 10 tents on College Green, the university reported. The university reported further that they are "closely monitoring the encampment to ensure the safety of the Penn community and the protestors."

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"We recognize that this encampment may cause fear and anxiety by the very fact of it being on our campus. Please don’t hesitate to access Penn’s safety and wellness resources, which can be found here," the statement from Interim President J. Larry Jameson reads. "When protestors arrived on our campus yesterday, I joined with members of the Penn community in a listening session during which speakers shared passionate views and painful experiences. I left inspired by the collective commitment to productive exchange, mutual respect, and care for one another and was gratified to see it on full display."

Protesters set up tents around 4 p.m., The Daily Pennsylvanian reported. They reported further that the encampment began after a 2 p.m. protest that started at City Hall – an effort organized by the Philly Palestine Coalition (PPC). 

Per The Daily Pennsylvanian, it demands that "Penn defend Palestinian students, including granting amnesty to students involved in pro-Palestinian activism and reinstating Penn Students Against the Occupation of Palestine."

PPC demands that Penn divest from Israel and any corporations profiting from the Israel-Hamas war. They also want Penn to sever ties with Israeli institutions practicing "scholasticide."

The encampments come after Penn revoked Penn Against the Occupation's status as a registered student group. 

Penn's students told Fox News Digital that the protest is an "American issue."

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"My thoughts are that they openly say that they're part of the quote resistance. And when people are chanting death to America on college campuses, it clearly shows that this is no longer solely a Jewish issue. This is an American issue," Eyal Yakobi, Class of '24, said.

"And until Americans rally together to say no to radicalism and hold our university leadership accountable for being indifferent, then this will only get worse, and if we can already see this affecting more than just your students… because USC graduation was just canceled, and that affects all students. So is the point of the university is to be a place for violent protests or are our American universities meant to be bastions of American excellence and academia?"

Noah Rubin, a freshman, told Fox News Digital that "there are known Hamas supporters and agitators in Philly who have come onto Penn’s campus in the past to intimidate, harass, and assault Penn students."

"I’m worried that they’ve been invited back - now not just for a protest but to live in the center of campus. One example is Jordan Vaughan who posted calling Columbia campers to pick up weapons! Jordan led chants calling for an intifada at Penn in late February," Rubin said.

Similar protests have been witnessed at USC, Princeton, the University of Michigan, UT-Austin and Yale. Hundreds of anti-Israel agitators have been arrested.

More than 100 people were arrested at Columbia University and cited for trespassing. Hundreds of students across the country have held similar protests at their own schools and have subsequently faced similar legal recourse.

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