Numerous protesters began to gather this Saturday in Paris to support Palestine after the military escalation between Israel and Hamas, despite the fact that the police had banned the protest in the French capital to prevent anti-Semitic drifts.

The police ordered the shops to be closed along the route of the march, from the Barbés neighborhood, where an important migrant community lives, to the Bastille Square.

Walid Atallah, president of the Association of Palestinians in the Paris region, accused the government of stirring up tensions with the ban.

“If there was a risk of public altercations, of serious problems, they would have properly prohibited it,” he said at a press conference. But “they banned it at the last minute,” he added. “It is unacceptable”.

The authorities said they feared a recurrence of clashes that occurred at a similar demonstration in Paris during the latest escalation in 2014, when protesters attacked synagogues and other Jewish facilities.

“We all remember an extremely difficult demonstration where horrible remarks such as ‘death to the Jews’ were made,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said Friday.

Similar protests in Germany and Denmark degenerated this week into clashes and arrests.

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