NYPD Looking Into Claims That Columbia Students Were Attacked With Chemicals During Pro-Palestinian Demonstrations

(NewsSpace.com) – Since the October 7 Hamas attack that launched an all-out war with Israel, tensions in the Middle East have been high. Those frustrations have spilled over into the US, where there are an increasing number of targeted attacks on Jewish and Palestinian people. At a recent protest in support of Palestine, some Columbia University students claimed they were sprayed with chemicals. The NYPD is reportedly looking into those allegations.

In an Instagram post dated January 23, a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) said that eight students had been hospitalized “after two former Israeli military soldiers violently attacked a peaceful campus protest with an illegal chemical-based weapon.” The number was later updated to 10 who had been hospitalized. The group claims that dozens more had to seek medical attention and demanded that the university investigate the attack. The SJP chapter said that the former soldiers blended in with the protest crowd by wearing keffiyehs, a Palestinian headdress.

According to The Guardian, the chemical weapon in question is known as “skunk” and is commonly used in the West Bank as a crowd control measure. Students had reportedly claimed their clothes had a foul smell hours after the protest. Six students had come forward to file police reports with the NYPD, but there had been no arrests in the matter.

Columbia University released a statement, as well, updating the public and saying that it was “working with local and federal authorities” in the investigation. It further noted that the administration was notified of the identities of the alleged suspects, who “were immediately banned from campus” while the probe was in process. The college is asking anyone with information or evidence that could help with the investigation to come forward and share it with the Department of Public Safety or the NYPD.

This is the latest to come out of Columbia University, which banned chapters of SJP and Jewish Voices for Peace (JVP) for holding “unauthorized” protests. That hasn’t stopped them from taking place.

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