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French gov’t seeks to ban pro-Palestinian protest in Paris, citing 2014 clashes

Interior minister urges local police chiefs to protect ‘places of worship, schools, cultural centers, and businesses of the Jewish community’

A pro-Palestinian protester displays a burning Israeli flag during a demonstration at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, July 26, 2014.  (AP Photo/Benjamin Girette)
Illustrative: A pro-Palestinian protester displays a burning Israeli flag during a demonstration at the Place de la Republique in Paris, France, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Benjamin Girette)

PARIS — France’s interior minister on Thursday asked police to ban a pro-Palestinian protest in Paris this weekend over the military conflict between Israel and Gaza-based terrorists, fearing a repeat of clashes during a similar situation in 2014.

Activists had called the protest in the Barbes district of northern Paris to demonstrate against Israeli strikes in Gaza in response to the rocket fire by Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Gaza Strip.

“I have asked the Paris police chief to ban the protests on Saturday linked to the recent tensions in the Middle East,” French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter.

“Serious disturbances to public order were seen in 2014,” he added, urging police chiefs elsewhere in France to also remain vigilant over demonstrations.

In a circular seen by AFP, Darmanin also urged local police chiefs to assure the “protection of places of worship, schools, cultural centers, and businesses of the Jewish community.”

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin arrives at a meeting with French police unions at the Hotel Matignon in Paris on May 10, 2021. (Christophe Archambault/AFP)

Several demonstrations took place in France during July 2014 to denounce Israel during the war then raging in Gaza between the Israeli military and Hamas and other terrorist organizations.

On July 19, 2014, several thousand protesters defied a ban on a demonstration at Barbes and the rally rapidly degenerated into violent clashes that lasted for hours.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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