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July 18, 2014

Paris bans Gaza protests over 'risk of violence'

Authorities forbid pro-Palestinian rallies in several cities across France.
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Protesters hold Palestinian flags banners and placards on July 13, 2014 in Paris, France. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP)

France has banned pro-Palestinian protests in some French cities due to a risk of violence after clashes at a similar rally last weekend in Paris. 

The clashes involved attacks on synagogues and Jewish stores as well as violence against pro-Palestinian demonstrators by the Jewish Defence League. 

Protest organisers have rejected the ban. Alain Pojolat of the New Anticapitalist Party said, "Hundreds of thousands of young people will go...on Saturday whether the demonstration is authorised or not."

Attending an illegal demonstration, as well as publicising it on social media, can result in punishment of a year in prison or 15,000 euros (approximately $20,000) in fines. 

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said last week that France "will not tolerate attempts to...import the Israeli-Palestinian conflict onto its soil". France has the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in Western Europe.

Many took to Twitter to express outrage over the ban.

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