Pro-Palestinian protesters set up encampments at universities in Australia

SYDNEY (AP) — Pro-Palestinian protesters were camped on university campuses across Australia on Friday, with some scuffling with pro-Israel protesters in Sydney, mirroring similar events in the United States.

Students have set up encampments at universities in major Australian cities over the last two weeks to protest Israel's offensive in Gaza. The students are demanding that universities sever all academic ties with Israel and cut off research partnerships with arms manufacturers.

No arrests were made, as the violence seen on some American campuses has not occurred in Australia.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters on Friday met a counterprotest supporting Israel at the University of Sydney, Australia’s oldest university. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported a scuffle between the groups.

Supporters of both sides later backed down because of a heavy security presence.

University of Sydney Vice Chancellor Mark Scott said there was space for both groups of protesters.

“They may strongly disagree with the matters that have been discussed. ... We can host that conversation and we should be able to do that in a non-threatening way,” he told ABC.

Scott said not all of the protesters were students, and that some might not be committed to peaceful and productive engagement. “We are working with security and police,” he said.