Paris braces for fresh pro-Gaza protest after violence
Published on Jul 23, 2014 9:52 AM
PARIS (AFP) - The French capital braced on Wednesday for a fresh protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza after similar rallies ended in violence and looting, raising concerns in the Jewish community about anti-Semitism.
The government, whose ban on several weekend rallies failed spectacularly after they went ahead anyway and descended into chaos, decided to authorise Wednesday's protest in Paris after discussions with organisers who gave "security guarantees", Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.
The protests at the weekend in Paris and in the suburb town of Sarcelles were marred by clashes between demonstrators and the police that sent locals scurrying as tear gas permeated the air, and scores were arrested.
Protesters in a previous Paris demonstration had attempted to storm synagogues and in Sarcelles, several Jewish businesses were looted, prompting Roger Cukierman, the head of the country's main CRIF Jewish grouping, to voice fears of "pogroms." On Tuesday, four men were sentenced to between three and six months in prison for their role in the Sarcelles violence, and three others were given between three and five months suspended jail sentences for their involvement in the Paris unrest.
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