Pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police in Paris on Saturday as they defied a ban on rallying against violence in the Gaza strip.
Demonstrators in northern Paris launched projectiles at riot police, who responded by firing tear gas canisters and stun grenades.
There were violent scenes as pro-Palestinians clashed with French riot police in the aftermath of a demonstration
Demonstrators also climbed on top of a building and burned an Israeli flag. At least one car was set on fire. A police spokesman said that 38 demonstrators had been arrested by early evening.
Dozens of police trucks were seen going into the narrow streets of Le Marais, a neighbourhood with a strong Jewish presence, where French media said groups of protesters had assembled.
Riot police assist an injured colleague as the demonstration descended into violence in Paris
President Francois Hollande said he had asked his interior minister to ban protests that could turn violent after demonstrators marched on two synagogues in Paris last weekend and clashed with riot police.
In defiance of the ban, large crowds gathered in northern Paris chanting ‘Israel, assassin’ until they were dispersed by tear gas.
French riot police officers hold a man down on the ground near the metro station of Barbes-Rochechouart in Paris
Peaceful rallies were also held in more than a dozen other cities, from Lille in the north to Marseille in the south.
A woman holds a placard reading ‘I don’t want to be an accomplice to the Gaza genocide’
“This ban on demonstrations, which was decided at the last minute, actually increases the risk of public disorder,” the Greens Party said in a statement. “It’s a first in Europe.”