A wave of protests is sweeping across the globe, with demonstrators standing in solidarity with Palestinians and condemning Israel’s brutal military campaign in Gaza and other occupied Palestinian territories.

Police clashed with students protesting against Israel’s actions in a raid on New York’s Columbia University. The crackdown resulted in several arrests. At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a Palestinian solidarity encampment faced a violent attack by pro-Israel counter-protesters.

Meanwhile, at the University of Southern Florida in Tampa, police deployed tear gas on students participating in a Gaza solidarity camp, resulting in the arrest of two individuals. At the University of New Mexico, sixteen people were forcibly removed and arrested by law enforcement as they protested in support of Palestine within the college’s student union building.

At Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, administrators have agreed to address student demands following protests calling for the divestment of funds from firms allegedly linked to Israel’s military actions in Gaza.

Antiwar campaigners have taken to the streets of London, demanding that the government cease arms supplies to Israel, which has already killed at least 34,568 Palestinians, mainly women and children, and wounded 77,765 others in Gaza since 7 October.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, during his visit to Tel Aviv, emphasised the imperative of reaching a ceasefire agreement without delay or excuse. Blinken, who has pledged unconditional support to Israel, placed the blame on Hamas, claiming that the only obstacle to a cessation of hostilities is the resistance group’s refusal to halt its attacks on Israel.

Senior Hamas figure Sami Abu Zuhri dismissed US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s claims. Abu Zuhri characterised Blinken’s statement as a strategic move to exert pressure on Hamas while deflecting accountability from Israel.

Abu Zuhri accused Blinken of displaying bias towards Israel, alleging that the Secretary of State’s remarks align more closely with Israeli interests than American principles.

Highlighting internal Israeli dynamics, Abu Zuhri pointed to recent admissions by the Israeli negotiating team, suggesting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s stance was impeding progress towards a ceasefire agreement. Hamas remains deliberative in its approach, carefully studying the latest ceasefire proposal while articulating its demands for a sustainable resolution to the conflict.

Among Hamas’s key priorities are the release of prisoners, the establishment of a permanent ceasefire, and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

Regardless of the ongoing ceasefire negotiations with Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with his government’s plan to invade Rafah and continue the relentless bombardment of Gaza.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned of the catastrophic consequences of an Israeli assault on Rafah, labelling it an “unbearable escalation” that would inflict devastating harm on Palestinians in Gaza and the broader region.

Overnight, Israel forces killed at least two Palestinian children in an attack on a house in Rafah, while further casualties were reported following an airstrike on a residential building in central Gaza City.

In the occupied West Bank village of Berin, Israeli forces demolished a family’s home and water well. Similar raids occurred in the Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron, where three Palestinians, including a recently released man, were arrested.

In other development, Israeli settlers blocked humanitarian aid trucks destined for Gaza from the Ashdod port. Extremist settlers and Israeli army continue to block aid entry into Gaza, where 2.5 million Palestinians are facing starvation.