Clashes erupted in Paris on Sunday as thousands of people protested against Israel and in support of Hamas and residents in the Gaza Strip, reports The Times of Israel.
Several thousand demonstrators marched through the streets of Paris behind a large banner that read “Total Support for the Struggle of the Palestinian People”.
Clashes erupted at the end of the march on Bastille Square, with people throwing projectiles onto a cordon of police who responded with tear gas. The violence continued into Sunday night.
Media reports said that hundreds of Jews were trapped inside a synagogue in the area and police units were sent to rescue them.
A person in the synagogue told Israel’s Channel 2 news that protesters hurled stones and bricks at the building, “like it was an intifada.”
Riot police dispersed the group, with two members of the Jewish community and six officers slightly injured in the ensuing scuffle, the source said.
The people were finally able to exit the synagogue at about 9 p.m.
A second synagogue was also attacked.
Six protesters were arrested, police said.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the attempted synagogue stormings “in the strongest possible terms”.
“Such acts targeting places of worship are unacceptable,” he said in a statement.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for “calm in the face of tensions” in the Middle East.
Terrorists in Gaza have pounded Israel with nearly 800 rockets since the fighting began and a further 150 have been intercepted by the Jewish state’s Iron Dome defense system. Israel has responded with hundreds of air strikes which, according to Palestinian sources, have killed 166 Gazans.
“I came to say no to this massacre,” Amid Hamadouch, 30, told AFP at the Paris protest while it was still peaceful, with a sticker reading “Boycott Israel, Racist State” on his jacket.
“They are bombing innocent people. There are missiles being launched by Hamas, but the Israeli response is disproportionate. They are attacking the civilian population and not Hamas officials.”
The crowd shouted slogans such as: “We Are All Palestinians!” and “Only One Solution, End the Occupation!”.
Many protesters carried banners on which they had stuck photos taken from the Internet, reportedly showing Palestinian children killed or injured, houses razed to the ground or clouds of smoke emerging from bombed districts in Gaza.
Blogger Elder of Zion carries a report that the protests were far more menacing and anti-Semitic than the main news sites have reported. According to a first-person account, protesters also chanted “Death to the Jews,” “Hitler was right,” “Hamas Resistance,” “Jihad! Jihad! Jihad!” and “Palestine must finish the job (started by Hitler).”