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Tensions high at competing Israel, Palestine rallies at UC San Diego

Posted at 11:17 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-15 02:17:48-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Tensions were high at UC San Diego, even hours before a controversial guest speaker spoke on campus Tuesday night.

The two rallies clashed on Library Walk. On one side, Israeli students and community members celebrated Peace in Israel Week and Israel's Independence Day, inviting Mosab Yousef as their guest speaker. Yousef is the son of the founder of Hamas.

The other rally was Palestinian students and community leaders protesting his presence on campus, which they say fosters hate and Islamophobia.

There were several moments during the competing rallies where emotions reached a tipping point, with people coming face to face, shouting their point of view.

Yousef declined requests to be interviewed but, inside, spoke about what led him to cut ties with Hamas and his father.

During his entire talk at the Price Center, pro-Palestinian students outside made their voices heard, chanting messages like "Free Palestine", and continued their calls for UCSD to divest.

The university says Peace in Israel Week is an annual event. It also says Justice in Palestine Week was last week and added that both are student organization-sponsored events.