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AN ISRAELI speaker has sparked protests outside the University of Southampton today.

Students for Palestine will set up a picket line at 1.15pm today ahead of an open seminar by Professor Mark Auslender, a researcher and professor in engineering sciences at the University of Ben-Gurion in Negev, Israel.

He has been invited to speak at the University of Southampton's Highfield Campus by the university's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) about optical sensors and how they can be used in health care from 2-3pm.

Demonstrators say the protest is to boycott Israel and the university's links with the country.

The English Defence League has planned to stage a counter-demonstration at the same time.

The Students for Palestine organisation at the University of Southampton aims to raise awareness of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.