May 24, 2024

In the heart of Paris, police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a pro-Palestinian rally after the French government prohibited such gatherings.

Minister of the Interior Gérald Darmanin stated that those who disobey the law should be detained because “they are likely to disrupt public order.”

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Paris, Lille, Bordeaux, and other cities on Thursday despite the ban.

President Emmanuel Macron urged individuals not to sow discord within the nation.

“The shield of unity will protect us from hatred and excesses,” he said in a video message.

European governments have banned pro-Palestinian rallies out of fear that the Israel-Hamas conflict will spark an increase in antisemitism.

Hours later, police made 10 arrests and used water cannons to disperse a 3,000-strong rally at the Place de la République in Paris, where demonstrators chanted “Israel murderer” and “Palestine will win” while waving Palestinian flags.

At another rally in Lille, ten individuals were detained.

Pro-Palestinian organizations asserted that the ban posed a threat to freedom of expression and vowed to continue holding demonstrations in support of the Palestinian people.

Charlotte Vautier, a rally participant, told Reuters, “We live in a country governed by civil law, where we have the right to take a stand and demonstrate.”

“[It is unfair] to forbid for one side and to authorise for the other.”

Police in Berlin, the capital of Germany, have also banned planned pro-Palestinian demonstrations, citing the danger of antisemitic statements and violence glorification.

Thursday, police reported that approximately sixty demonstrators complied with an order to vacate Potsdamer Platz.

The international victims of Hamas’ offensive against Israel
In his video address, President Macron urged the French people not to add national divisions to international divisions.

He characterized Hamas as “a terrorist organization that seeks the annihilation of the Israeli people.”

Saturday’s Hamas attack on Israel resulted in the confirmed deaths of 13 French citizens.

President Macron stated that 17 French nationals are presumed to be among the detainees held by Hamas in Gaza. He added, “France is doing everything it can, along with Israel and our partners, to bring them home.”

There are four minors among the missing.

He stated that Israel had the right to defend itself by eliminating terrorists, but that “democracies have a responsibility to protect civilian lives.”

“The only response to terrorism is one that is strong but fair,” he reiterated.

France has nearly 500,000 Jews, the greatest Jewish population in Europe. France’s Muslim population is also among the greatest in Europe, with an estimated five million members.

The Eiffel Tower was illuminated in the colors of the Israeli flag after a Hamas attack on October 7 murdered over

The majority of French political parties have condemned the “terrorist attack” perpetrated by Hamas. Mr. Darmanin told regional representatives on Thursday that Jewish schools and sanctuaries should be protected by a visible police presence.

He told French radio that 100 antisemitic incidents had been documented since Saturday, the majority of which involved graffiti depicting “swastikas, ‘Death to Jews,’ and calls for Israel intifadas.”

He added that individuals were detained for attempting to bring knives into schools and synagogues.

French police are already protecting the residences of prominent lawmakers. Jews Yal Braun-Pivet, president of the National Assembly, and Meyer Habib, a member of parliament, have been offered additional protection.

Ms. Braun-Pivet, a member of Mr. Macron’s Renaissance party, has reportedly received murder threats.

She had parliament illuminated in the colors of the Israeli flag this week and called for a moment of silence prior to Tuesday’s Assembly session.

Ms. Braun-Pivet also announced that Maryam Abu Daqqa, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), would be barred from next month’s screening of a documentary in parliament. The EU has designated the militant group as a terrorist organization.

Meyer Habib represents a constituency of French citizens living abroad, which includes Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and he is an outspoken supporter of Israel. Following the Hamas assault, he declared, “We are witnessing the return of pogroms.”

The Hamas attack and its consequences have fractured French politics.

While the majority of parties have condemned Saturday’s “terrorist attack” and expressed support for Israel’s right to respond, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s far-left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party’s initial response was more ambivalent.

In a statement, the party referred to the Hamas attack as a “military offensive by Palestinian forces,” provoking harsh criticism from other parties, including left-leaning allies such as the Socialist and Communist parties.

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