All Israel

7 UPenn students expecting felony charges after anti-Israel protest

Pro-Palestinian encampment at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, May 5, 2024. (Photo: Robyn Stevens Brody/Sipa USA)

University of Pennsylvania police officials announced on Saturday the arrest of 19 anti-Zionist student protesters who attempted to occupy a building on campus. Seven of them face felony charges, and one reportedly assaulted a police officer.

Student protesters announced a “take over” of Fisher-Bennett Hall at around 8 p.m. on Friday evening.

According to The Times of Israel, “exit doors had been secured” by students using zip ties, barbed wire, metal chairs, and desks. Windows were also “covered by newspaper and cardboard.”

The student group’s announcement declared the hall was being renamed “in honor of Palestinian poet, professor and activist Refaat Alareer,” who had been a “featured speaker” at UPenn last September, and “who [sic] Israel killed on December 6, 2023.”

In an interview with the BBC network, Alareer called the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, “legitimate and moral,” and added, “It is exactly like the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.”

“This is the Gaza Ghetto Uprising against 100 years of European and Zionist colonialism and occupation,” Alareer said.

Less than an hour after the student group announced they were renaming the occupied building after a pro-Hamas activist, “police could be seen closing in,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

The anti-Israel protesters who were not arrested subsequently took to the streets until organizers advised them to disperse at about 10:30 p.m.

The attempted takeover of the campus building was reported organized by Penn Against the Occupation of Palestine (PAO).

Though PAO was banned from the University of Pennsylvania campus in late April, it had continued to operate off-campus.

PAO is closely allied with National Students for Justice in Palestine, the group that initiated the anti-Zionist campus protest movement across America, and that praised the Oct. 7 Hamas attack against Israel as an “historic win.”

The original PAO announcement on Friday called on students to “FLOOD UPENN FOR PALESTINE,” an apparent reference to “Operation Al-Aqsa Flood,” the name Hamas uses to refer to the Oct. 7 terror attack against Israel that left 1,200 dead, most of whom were civilians.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

All Israel
Receive latest news & updates
    A message from All Israel News
    Help us educate Christians on a daily basis about what is happening in Israel & the Middle East and why it matters.
    For as little as $5, you can support ALL ISRAEL NEWS, a non-profit media organization that is supported by readers like you.
    Donate to ALL ISRAEL NEWS
    Popular Articles
    Latest Stories