POLICE have attempted to break up and arrest pro-Palestinian protesters after student demonstrators organised a peaceful sit-in at a university office building.

Students at Oxford University staged a peaceful sit-in in protest of the ongoing war in Gaza with some of the demonstrators occupying the vice chancellor's office.

Footage widely shared on social media showed police attending the protest, which began around 8 am on May 23.

Shortly after midday more footage emerged of police officers pulling and pushing students who were taking part in the sit-in.

READ MORE: Three arrests as pro-Palestine protesters blockade Leonardo factory

There have also been reporters of demonstrators being arrested as more footage shared by the Oxford Action for Palestine group on social media showed students being led away by officers and placed into the back of police vans.

The campaign group has said 16 student protesters have been arrested so far but this has yet to be confirmed by the police.

Police have also been filmed dragging protesters by their coats as they sat on the road outside the office building, appearing to block traffic and police vehicles.

There was also video footage of police dogs at the scene too.

A group of around 75 students later gathered outside a building where the heads of all university colleges were meeting.

They demanded that the leaders negotiate with the group and those who have been arrested should be released.

In a statement online the group said: “It is evident that the administration would rather arrest, silence, and physically assault its own students than confront its enabling of Israel's genocide in Gaza.”

The group also stated that demonstrators who were occupying the building offered to leave willingly after they were told by the police they would be arrested.

They also said that officers arrested the students regardless of their willingness to leave and confiscated their phones, so they were unable to document their arrest.

Thames Valley Police said in a statement: "Officers attended Wellington Square at Oxford University, at around 8am this morning (23/5) following reports that protestors had gained access to a private office within one of the buildings.

"16 people have since been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass. One of the 16 has also been arrested on suspicion of common assault.

"In addition to these arrests we dealt with protesters in the immediate vicinity of Wellington Square. Elements of this protest sought to obstruct the removal of the persons arrested. These protests have been peaceful and no arrests were made.

"We are still managing a small peaceful protest in the city.

"We are aware of footage circulating on social media, which show our officers using lawful, proportionate and necessary action in the difficult circumstances they faced."