Pro-Palestinian protesters have clashed with police in Paris as thousands defy a ban on a planned demonstration against Israeli atrocities in the Gaza strip.
Protesters in France’s capital Paris launched projectiles at riot police, who responded by firing stun grenades and tear gas into the crowds on Saturday.
The demonstrators were chanting anti-Israeli slogans such as “Israel is a terror state” and also scaled a building and proceeded to burn an Israeli flag.
On Friday, French authorities banned pro-Palestinian groups from holding the rally for security reasons.
The Paris police made the announcement in a statement on Friday, saying Saturday’s planned anti-Israeli protest would be banned.
French President Francois Hollande said during a visit to Niger that he backed the protest ban.
Also, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he welcomed the Paris police’s move and advised other cities across France to consider banning planned protests.
Organizers had said despite the ban they would go ahead with the protest, which is planned to be held in the northern Paris neighborhood of Barbés.
Meanwhile peaceful protests were held in over a dozen French cities.
The ban comes as anti-Israeli rallies are being held worldwide in condemnation of Tel Aviv’s ongoing atrocities against Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.
The death toll from the Israeli aggression on Gaza has risen to more than 342. About a third of the fatalities have been women and children. Nearly 2,500 others have been injured.
The Israeli regime also launched a ground invasion of the coastal sliver late on Thursday.
Israel had called up 48,000 reserve soldiers for the ground operation and the military said later on Thursday that an additional 18,000 reservists have been also called up to bolster the 48,000 already summoned.