The authorities' ban, confirmed in court, did not stop the pro-Palestinian demonstrators, who came in large numbers to defend their cause this Saturday afternoon, in the area of the Carrefour Barbès in Paris.
The police tried to disperse the crowd from the first gatherings, using tear gas and water cannon.
Some 4,200 police and gendarmes were mobilized to apply the strategy of “systematic and immediate dispersal” announced by the police headquarters. Face to face between demonstrators and the police took place, followed by charges of the latter, causing a game of cat and mouse between the two parties on wide boulevards or narrower streets. “Free Palestine”; "Israel murderer", "Israel break you, Palestine is not yours," shouted protesters in the back streets of the Goutte d'Or neighborhood. “There was no damage, no overflow, they gassed us… Normally it's a right that we have in France (to demonstrate) so why, we Muslims, we don't have the right to defend a country that is really being martyred at home? », Indignant a demonstrator in the procession.
Banners brandished by demonstrators were confiscated, according to the prefecture. The organizers, including the Association of Palestinians in Ile-de-France, as well as about thirty other organizations, such as Attac, the Paris-Banlieue Antifascist Action, the New Anticapitalist Party had maintained their call to demonstrate, in despite the ban requested by the authorities and confirmed Friday evening by the administrative court.
This ban was taken Thursday evening by the Paris police prefect, Didier Lallement, at the request of the Minister of the Interior, Gerald Darmanin, for “risk of disturbance”. It was put forward the precedent of 2014, when a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Paris degenerated into urban violence. The demonstration was originally planned to commemorate the Nakba, the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians at the creation of Israel in 1948. Other demonstrations were banned, such as in Nice, or in Aubervilliers and Montreuil in Seine-Saint -Denis. In Nice, some 150 people gathered in peace despite the ban. On the other hand, demonstrations or gatherings were authorized in many cities, as in Lille where several hundred people were gathered this Saturday.
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The calls for demonstrations come against the backdrop of a military escalation unprecedented in recent days since 2014 between Israel and the Palestinian movement Hamas, in and around the Gaza Strip, and violence in mixed Arab and Jewish Israeli towns.
This conflict has killed 139 Palestinians since Monday, including some 40 children, and hundreds of wounded in the Gaza Strip, according to a latest Palestinian report.
In Israel, ten people were killed including a child and nearly 600 injured.