The Paris police prefecture issued an order on Thursday to ban a Palestinian solidarity demonstration scheduled for Saturday in the French capital as weekend pro-Palestinian rallies were planned around the world following Israel’s latest deadly offensive in the Gaza Strip .
Earlier on Thursday, French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin had asked police to ban a pro-Palestinian protest in Paris this weekend over the conflict with Israel, fearing a repeat clash during a similar situation in 2014.
Activists had called on the protest in the Barbès neighborhood of northern Paris to demonstrate against Israel’s use of force in the Gaza Strip in response to the Hamas militant group’s rocket fire on the Jewish state.
“I have asked the Paris police chief to ban Saturday’s protests over recent tensions in the Middle East,” Darmanin wrote on Twitter.
“Serious public order disturbances were found in 2014,” he added, urging police chiefs elsewhere in France to remain vigilant about demonstrations.
A Paris, j’ai demandé au Préfet de police d’interdire les manifestations de samedi and lien avec les recentes tanningen au Proche-Orient. The excavation problems à l’ordre public furent observations in 2014. Ensuring an été donnée aux Préfets d’être particulièrement wigilants and fermes.
– Gérald DARMANIN (@GDarmanin) May 13, 2021
In the summer of July 2014, several peaceful Palestinian solidarity demonstrations took place in France to denounce an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip.
On July 19, 2014, several thousand protesters defied a ban on a demonstration in Barbès and the demonstration quickly degenerated into violent clashes that lasted for hours.
Arrest of Palestinian advocacy group sentenced
On Wednesday, Paris police detained the head of the French Palestinian advocacy group Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) near the State Department building for several hours before his release.
Bertrand Heilbronn was arrested after meeting a French Foreign Ministry adviser as part of a delegation that included MPs and representatives of trade unions and organizations, the AFPS said in a statement.
❌ A la sortie d’un rendez-vous au Ministère des affaires étrangères, Bertrand Heilbronn, president de @AFPSOfficiel a été arrêté par la police for avoir organisé le rassemblement pacifiste qui accompanies la délégation reçue (avec 3 parliamentaires don’t je fais partie ) pic.twitter.com/PmUb2cIjWr
– Elsa Faucillon (@ElsaFaucillon) May 12, 2021
A demonstration outside the State Department was scheduled for 4 p.m. local time, but the decision to ban it was not announced until 1 p.m., while many participants were already on their way to the site, AFPS said.
The arrest of the veteran 71-year-old activist sparked outrage among several activists and political figures on the left, including Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of La France insoumise (France Unbowed).
Last year, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) overturned a conviction from France’s highest court, the Supreme Court, which criminalized peaceful protests by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
BDS seeks an Israeli withdrawal from occupied Palestinian territory.
The ECtHR ruled that the freedom of expression of 11 BDS supporters was violated by the October 2015 Paris ruling.
( Jowharwith AFP)