PICS: French Riot Police Fire Tear Gas, Use Water Cannons During Violent Anti-Israel Protests in Paris

A protester throws a metal bar during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinians called over the ongoing conflict with Israel in Paris on May 15, 2021. - Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by …
GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images

Police fired tear gas and used water cannons in clashes with violent pro-Palestinian protesters on Saturday in Paris.

Around 22,000 people took part in protests across France related to the conflict between Israel and Hamas on Saturday, including between 2,500 to 3,500 people demonstrating in Paris, despite a ban.

Smoke fills the air during a pro-Palestinian rally called against Israel’s bombardment of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, in Paris on May 15, 2021. – Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by authorities, who fear a flare-up of anti-Semitic violence during the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in years. Thousands of people converged in the heavily immigrant Barbes neighbourhood in the north of the capital, defying orders issued by loudspeakers that the march was illegal. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Violence was seen during the protests in Paris, where 44 of the 51 nationwide arrests were made. Le Monde reported that 15 people in the capital were in police custody by the early evening for charges including “participation in a group intent on violence” and “violence against the police ”.

A fire burns on a street as French riot police walk towards a pro-Palestinian rally called against Israel’s bombardment of the Palestinian Gaza Strip, in Paris on May 15, 2021. – Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by authorities, who fear a flare-up of anti-Semitic violence during the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in years. Thousands of people converged in the heavily immigrant Barbes neighbourhood in the north of the capital, defying orders issued by loudspeakers that the march was illegal. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Across France, two officers said to have suffered “light injuries” — one officer in Nice and the other in the French capital.

The Associated Press reported that Paris’s Police Chief Didier Lallement had ordered 4,200 security officers onto the streets due to fears of violence after the ban was imposed. French officials had noted that a ban on a July 2014 anti-Israel protest had also resulted in violence.

Protesters, surrounded by tear gas, face French riot mobile gendarmes during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinians called over the ongoing conflict with Israel, in Paris on May 15, 2021. – Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by authorities, who fear a flare-up of anti-Semitic violence during the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in years. Thousands of people converged in the heavily immigrant Barbes neighbourhood in the north of the capital, defying orders issued by loudspeakers that the march was illegal. (Photo by Thomas COEX / AFP) (Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images)

Government spokesman Gabriel Attal said: “We do not want there to be scenes of violence, we do not want to import a conflict on French soil, we do not want a hate crisis in the streets of the French Republic.”

French police used water cannons and tear gas on the protesters in Paris, with a Monde journalist at the scene describing several hours of tense, at times close proximity, interactions between rioters and officers.

Protesters set a fire during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinians called over the ongoing conflict with Israel in Paris on May 15, 2021. – Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by authorities, who fear a flare-up of anti-Semitic violence during the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in years. Thousands of people converged in the heavily immigrant Barbes neighbourhood in the north of the capital, defying orders issued by loudspeakers that the march was illegal. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP) (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)

The newspaper reports that Palestinian flags were waved while protesters shouted “Israel murderer”, “Free Palestine”, and “Palestine will live. Palestine will win.”

French police officers stands nearby a fire during a demonstration in solidarity with the Palestinians called over the ongoing conflict with Israel, in Paris on May 15, 2021. – Police officers used tear gas and water cannon in Paris to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by authorities, who fear a flare-up of anti-Semitic violence during the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in years. Thousands of people converged in the heavily immigrant Barbes neighbourhood in the north of the capital, defying orders issued by loudspeakers that the march was illegal. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP) (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)

The rally’s 30 organising groups are said to include the Association of Palestinians in Ile-de-France, the New Anticapitalist Party, and the Paris-Banlieue Antifascist Action.

A demonstrator walks on an Israeli flag during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Saturday, May, 15, 2021 in Paris. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris, where riot police got ready as organizers said they would defy a ban on the protest. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

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