Thousands join raucous pro-Palestinian rally in central Paris

A man holds a Palestinian flag during a demonstration in Paris, on October 19, 2023. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP)
A man holds a Palestinian flag during a demonstration in Paris, on October 19, 2023. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP)

Thousands gather for a pro-Palestinian protest in the heart of Paris, after authorities lift a ban put in place immediately after the Hamas assault on Israel.

The rally started off peacefully, but later saw clashes with police, who used pepper spray to disperse the crowd, according to AFP journalists at the scene.

Last week, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had called on regional authorities to ban all pro-Palestinian demonstrations, highlighting a spike in antisemitic incidents in the wake of the war between Israel and Gaza.

But a Paris court said that bans imposed by regional prefects were “a serious and clearly illegal threat to the freedom to protest.”

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