Hamas and Iran support pro-Palestine college protests, criticize crackdown

Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 Israelis and kidnapping about 240 others.

Published: April 25, 2024 8:38am

Updated: April 25, 2024 11:05am

Hamas and Iran expressed support for the pro-Palestine college protests at Columbia University and other institutions and criticized efforts to crackdown on them.

"We in the Hamas movement believe that any popular movement demanding an end to the aggression and genocide against our people are useful and supportive activities for our cause," Hamas spokesperson Bassam Naim said, according to Newsweek.

"They also refute the Zionist narrative," he also said. "The importance of this increases if these activities involve young people and university students, given that this reflects the vision of future generations."

In November 2023, a bipartisan group of senators called on the U.N. to formally designate Hamas as a terrorist group, which the United States has already done.

Iran, a major funder of Hamas, has also voiced support for the protests.

"The suppression and violent treatment of the American police and security forces against professors and students protesting the genocide and war crimes of the Israeli regime in various universities of the United States is deeply worrying and disgusted by the public opinion of the world," Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian wrote Thursday on X, formerly Twitter, alongside a video of a pro-Palestine protester being arrested in Texas. 

Hamas was behind a terror attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, which killed around 1,200 Israelis and resulted in the kidnappings of about 240 others. There has been an uptick in student-led pro-Palestine protests after Israel responded to the Oct. 7 attack.

Last week, police responded to protests at Columbia University and arrested more than 100 protestors. Since then, more protests are popped up on college campuses.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates responded to the spreading college protests on Tuesday.

"When we witness calls for violence; physical intimidation; hateful, antisemitic rhetoric, those are unacceptable. We will denounce them," he told reporters. "The president knows that silence is complicity, and that's why he uses the platforms he has to try and ensure that our fellow Americans are safe."

The Hamas spokesperson said that the Biden administration's "attempts to suppress these activities will not change the reality of the situation, whether regarding the justice of the Palestinian cause or the brutality and racism of the Israeli occupation." 

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