21 May 2024

Several thousand people marched Saturday in Paris and other French cities in support of Palestinians after an 11-day conflict with Israel that killed 260 people, most of whom Palestinians.

This weekend’s Paris demonstration was restricted to a rally at the Place de la Republique. Last weekend, thousands of activists defied a ban on a similar demonstration to march in the capital.

The CGT trade union said up to 4,000 people attended the Paris rally.

The capital marchers shouted slogans such as “Palestine will live, Palestine will win”, “Israel assassin, Macron accomplice”, “and We are all Palestinians.”

Bertrand Heilbronn, president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association, which organised the Paris rally and other demonstrations told AFP said the ceasefire had not resolved anything.

“This fight concerns all those who are attached to the values of justice, dignity and law,” he added.

“Even if the bombings have ended, the occupier is still there,” said Wael, a 28-year-old at the Paris rally, a Palestinian flag draped around his shoulders.

“The residents of Sheikh Jarrah are still facing the threat of expulsion and the Gaza Strip is blockaded,” he added.

Other protests took place in cities around France.

Regional officials said 1,100 people marched in the southeast city of Lyon, as many as on the previous weekend.

In the northern city of Lille, organisers said around 1,000 attended a rally while police put the number at 650.

Other protests were held in the eastern French city of Strasbourg, as well as Toulouse and Montpellier in the south.

“Palestinians have a right to live in peace and have a state,” said Imad Deaibis in Strasbourg.

“Israel has deprived us of our rights and of our houses. I am Palestinian but I no longer have the right to go there, my family has lost everything.”

Thousands are homeless in the impoverished enclave of Gaza, where a ceasefire on Friday ended deadly Israeli air strikes on the besieged territory and rocket fire out of it towards Israel.

The 11-day conflict claimed the lives of at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children, while 12 people died in Israel, including one child.