Protesters shout ‘Israel killers, Hollande accomplice,’ as pro-Gaza demo rages in Paris despite city ban.
Hundreds are rallying in support of Gazan Palestinians on Saturday in northern Paris, despite the recent ban of such gatherings in France.
“We are all Palestinians” and “Israel killers, Hollande accomplice,” shouted the protesters, according to witness accounts. Police fired teargas fired at the protesters, some of who retaliated by hurling rocks at security officers.
The Israeli offensive has stoked passions in France — which has the largest Muslim population in western Europe as well as a 500,000-strong Jewish community.
Police said in a statement Friday they could not guarantee a safe march “due to heightened tensions” fuelled by the recent escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
President Francois Hollande, during a visit to Niger on Friday, said the march would have been a “risk to public order”.
“We cannot allow the conflict to be imported into France. We cannot have demonstrators (from opposite sides) facing each other down, with a risk to public order,” he said.
Thousands of protesters across the world came out in force to denounce Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip on Thursday and Friday.
In Turkey, Egypt, and Jordan some rallies turned violent and protesters vandalizing property clashed with police forces. Protests also took place in London, Madrid, New York, and Cape Town.
The Independent daily reported an estimated 15,000 protesters marched through London from Downing Street to the Israeli embassy in Kensington, voicing anti-Israeli slogans.
Anti-Jewish slogans were heard at a pro-Palestinian rally in Berlin on Thursday. The American Jewish Committee Berlin office filed a complaint with police that protesters had chanted “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come on out and fight.”
On Friday night 3,000 protesters demonstrated in Zurich, calling to throw all the Jews into “to the sea.” An Israel eyewitness told Israeli daily Maariv that the protesters held Palestinian flags and claimed Israel is committing war crimes in Gaza.
Pro-Palestinian protesters in Krakow, Poland, on Thursday assaulted a group of Israelis, spitting at them, according to the Times of Israel.
Last week protesters trapped Jews inside a Paris synagogue and chanted “Hitler was right” and “Death to Jews.”
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