Parisian organizers pledge to continue pro-Palestinian rally despite court ban – fr

Parisian organizers pledge to continue pro-Palestinian rally despite court ban – fr

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                Un tribunal français a confirmé vendredi l'interdiction par la police d'une manifestation pro-palestinienne prévue samedi à Paris, ont déclaré les avocats des organisateurs, ajoutant qu'ils feraient appel de la décision.

                                    <p>Cependant, les organisateurs de la manifestation ont déclaré qu'ils n'avaient pas l'intention d'annuler l'action de samedi.

“We refuse to silence our solidarity with the Palestinians, and we will not be prevented from demonstrating,” said the Association of Palestinians of the capital Ile-de-France region shortly after the announcement of the ban on court.

Former representatives of the association told AFP that France is “the only democratic country to ban these demonstrations”.

Police on Thursday banned Saturday’s protest called over the ongoing conflict with Israel, fearing a repeat of clashes at a similar protest in 2014.

Following the failure of their initial request, the lawyers now state that they will appeal to the highest French administrative court, the Council of State.

Sefen Guez Guez, one of the lawyers, had previously called the police ban “disproportionate” and “politically motivated”.

Police chief fears “serious disturbances”

Paris police chief Didier Lallement said allowing the protest would “seriously disrupt public order”, adding that he feared “acts against synagogues and Israeli interests”.

While referring to the violence during the 2014 protest, Guez Guez replied that there had been “no problem” in many protests since.

The planned protest would target the French government as well as Israel, with organizers saying Paris is too supportive of the Middle Eastern state.

President Emmanuel Macron’s office said it met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, offering its “condolences to the victims of rocket fire claimed by Hamas and other terrorist groups.”

The statement said Macron called for a return to peace, “and also conveyed to his counterpart his concern about the civilian population of Gaza.”

French politicians were mostly divided along party lines over the protest ban, with Macron’s center-right party and the right-wing opposition supporting the move, while leftists called it an unacceptable attack on freedom of speech.

But the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, a socialist, said the government had made a “wise” decision.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Thursday asked police chiefs elsewhere in France to closely monitor planned protests and ban them if necessary, and to strengthen police protection for the Jewish community.

In the world, only Israel and the United States have a larger Jewish population than France.

Beyond the Paris ban, police in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille said a march there was to be turned into a stationary protest, while Darmanin said another in the east of Strasbourg was also blocked.

Police in Lyon and Bordeaux told AFP there were no restrictions on gatherings there.

Israel shelled Gaza with artillery and airstrikes on Friday following another barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled enclave, escalating a conflict that has now left at least 141 dead.




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