The French capital braces for a fresh protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza after similar rallies ended in violence and looting, raising concerns in the Jewish community about anti-Semitism.
The government, whose ban on several weekend rallies failed spectacularly after they went ahead anyway and descended into chaos, decided to authorize Wednesday’s protest in Paris after discussions with organizers who gave “security guarantees”, Prime Minister Manuel Valls says.
The main organizer of Wednesday’s protest, the National Collective for Just and Durable Peace between Israelis and Palestinians, hails the decision to let the demonstration go ahead.
“It’s a victory for democracy and freedom of expression,” says Taoufiq Tahani, president of the France-Palestine Solidarity Association which is part of the collective that called the rally.
Other demonstrations are to be held Wednesday in the cities of Lyon, Toulouse, Lille and Reims.
They have been called by far-left groups, pro-Palestinian organisations and some unions.
Another demonstration is due to be held in Paris on Saturday, and it is as yet unclear whether authorities will decide to ban it over fears of unrest.