Columbia Encampment
Columbia EncampmentReuters/Adem Wijewickrema/TheNews2/Cover Images

Dozens of Columbia University students who were arrested for occupying a campus building as part of a pro-Palestinian Arab protest will have their criminal charges dropped, prosecutors said, according to The Associated Press.

At a court hearing on Thursday, the Manhattan district attorney's office said it would not pursue criminal charges for 31 of the 46 people initially arrested on trespassing charges inside the administration building.

On April 30, at the request of university leaders, hundreds of officers with the New York Police Department stormed onto campus, gaining access to the building through a second-story window and making dozens of arrests of the pro-Palestinian Arab demonstrators who had taken over Hamilton Hall.

At Thursday’s hearing, prosecutors said they were dismissing charges against most of those arrested inside the building due in part to a lack of evidence tying them to specific acts of property damage and the fact that none of the students had criminal histories, according to AP.

Stephen Millan, an assistant district attorney, noted that the protesters wore masks and blocked surveillance cameras in the building, making it difficult to “prove that they participated in damaging any Columbia University property or causing harm to anyone.”

All of those students are still facing disciplinary hearings and possible expulsion from the university.

Prosecutors said they would move forward with charges against one person involved in the building occupation, who is also accused of breaking an NYPD camera in a holding cell and burning an Israeli flag during a protest.

The anti-Israel protest at Columbia University was one of many protest encampments that have been set up at campuses across the US in recent months.

Some of the anti-Israel encampments at universities have been taken down by police officers, while others have been cleared voluntarily following agreements with university administration.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)