Thousands rally in France in support of Palestinians

People wave Palestinian flags during a protest against Israel in solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Paris, May 22, 2021. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

PARIS (AFP) - Several thousand people marched on Saturday (May 22) in Paris and other French cities in support of Palestinians after an 11-day conflict with Israel that killed more than 260 people on both sides.

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.

"A ceasefire does not resolve the question. This fight concerns all those who are attached to the values of justice, dignity and law," said Bertrand Heilbronn, president of the France Palestine Solidarity Association which organised the Paris rally and other demonstrations.

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

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

"Even if the bombings have ended, the occupier is still there. The residents of Sheikh Jarrah are still facing the threat of expulsion and the Gaza Strip is blockaded," said Wael, a 28-year-old marcher with a Palestinian flag draped around his shoulders.

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

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

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.