Protest against ties with Israel mark President's visit

Angry Palestinian students on Tuesday protested against India's growing friendship with Israel at a university campus here on Tuesday even as President Pranab Mukherjee was being conferred an honorary degree.

East Jerusalem: Angry Palestinian students on Tuesday protested against India's growing friendship with Israel at a university campus here on Tuesday even as President Pranab Mukherjee was being conferred an honorary degree.

Hundreds of students shouted slogans and carried placards critical of India's ties with the Jewish state while Mukherjee was being honoured by Al-Quds university at Abu Dis and hailed as a "Knight of Peace".

Placards with slogans "India why do you cooperate with the occupiers (Israel)", "Indian President raise your voice against Israel's aggression", and "Indian President don't keep quiet against the butchers slaying Palestinians" were carried by the students as Mukherjee was leaving the campus here in East Jerusalem.

The demonstration came in the middle of heightened tensions and more killings between Israelis and Palestinians which have resulted in hundreds of casualties, including some today.

Inside the university auditorium, where Palestine Prime Minister Dr Rami Hamadallah was among those present, Mukherjee was hailed as "a Knight of Peace" and loudly cheered when he mentioned all the help rendered by India to the Palestinians.

In his acceptance speech at the university, the President said peace and stability in the Middle East region is in India's interest and proposed a three-pillar framework to propel its "historic" ties with Palestine besides building a second Information Technology (IT) centre in Gaza.

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