Violence breaks out at UCLA as school declares Gaza encampment ‘unlawful’

There were unconfirmed reports of injuries amid violent confrontations between pro-Israel protesters and the Gaza encampment


Violent clashes at the UCLA campus (Bell Trew)

A chaotic scene unfolded at the main campus of the University of California, Los Angeles in the city's Westwood neighborhood late Tuesday night as pro-Israel protesters confronted the Gaza encampment there.

There were unconfirmed reports of fights breaking out, resulting in injuries. An unverified video circulating online showed a Jewish student allegedly beaten by a mob of activists.

According to social media accounts and local reporting, the university and city police were absent from the increasingly violent scene at UCLA.

The university on Tuesday declared that the encampment “is unlawful and violates university policy" and warned students that if they did not leave they would face arrest as well as suspension or expulsion.

"Law enforcement is prepared to arrest individuals in accordance with applicable law. Non-UCLA persons are notified to leave the encampment and depart the campus immediately," the university administration wrote.

The directive also applied to staff and faculty.

The protesters released a statement saying that they would not leave, leading to the confrontations late Tuesday night.

The local CBS News affiliate reported that earlier Tuesday, clashes broke out between protesters and Jewish students after the encampment blocked their way to the library in the middle of midterms.

"Protesters continued to fight each other well past 11:30 p.m., shooting fireworks at the encampments while melees broke out past the barriers. One of the melees involved a person swinging what appeared to be a skateboard," the local affiliate wrote.

Aerial video from the local ABC News affiliate showed clashes breaking out on the university lawn, with objects being thrown on both sides. The smaller pro-Israel group was being surrounded by the larger pro-Hamas crowd.

"Protest has continued for more than 90 minutes with no law enforcement presence as brawls escalate in crowd; people are being beaten and kicked, barricades are being used as weapons," the ABC News affiliate tweeted.

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