Dueling protests take place at George Washington University, with faculty members forming a line between the groups

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Faculty at George Washington University holds banners as they continue pro-Palestinian demonstrations at George Washington University in Washington DC, on May 2. Celal Gunes/Anadolu/Getty Images

Dueling protests — a group of pro-Israel protesters and another of pro-Palestinian protesters — are taking place at George Washington University in Washington, DC, about four blocks away from each other.

On one side, a group of pro-Israel protesters, including relatives of hostages held by Hamas and students from other local universities, are gathered in a small yard on the George Washington campus, giving speeches and chanting “bring them home.” 

After a confrontation between pro-Palestinian protesters and Israel supporters turned violent at the University of California, Los Angeles, on Wednesday, one of the pro-Israel protest organizers at GW told CNN that they do not plan on confronting and moving toward the pro-Palestinian protesters nearby.

On the pro-Palestinian side, speeches, songs and chants are taking place at the quad area where the encampment is located, as protesters wave Palestinian flags. The crowd supporting Israel at GW is about one-quarter the size of the pro-Palestinian protesters. 

So far, the protests have been peaceful, with law enforcement from the DC Metro Police and GW police positioned near them closely watching. 

Faculty members including professors from several universities in the DC area have formed a line across H Street in between the two groups, noting that that they are there to protect the pro-Palestinian protesters in case the other group moves near them.

Mark Lance, a professor at Georgetown University who’s leading the line of faculty, said they decided to form a line because of what unfolded at UCLA, where law enforcement has since cleared an encampment after tearing down barriers and detaining pro-Palestinian protesters early Thursday morning.

Lance, a professor of philosophy and ‘justice and peace’ studies, added that this is the first time they’ve organized as faculty, acknowledging that some of them are risking losing their jobs by doing so.

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