France Threatens to Arrest and Deport Pro-Palestine “Troublemakers”

( – The French government issued a ban on pro-Palestinian demonstrations on Thursday October 12 amidst fears they would encourage antisemitic hatred and public disorder. One Parisian court had already declared that the actions of local police who stopped a pro-Palestine rally were lawful and reasonable.

The judges found that the rally was likely to stir up anti-Jewish sentiment and advocate for acts of terror. When the French Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, wrote to regional authorities in France on Thursday, he took a similar view to the Parisian judges. He advised that police should arrest anybody deemed to be a “troublemaker” and should quickly put a stop to any illegal demonstrations. He added that foreigners who behaved antisemitically at such rallies should have their visas revoked and be deported.

Minister Darmanin also told the regional authorities that police should be deployed to provide extra security to Jewish communities, for example by guarding synagogues and schools with a high number of Jewish children. Following the Palestinian Hamas’ devastating attack on Israel, which has killed at least 1200 people so far, including many civilians, Israeli forces have retaliated and struck the Hamas-controlled areas of Gaza. So far, this has resulted in the deaths of over 1500 people, civilians included.

In the wake of such violence and destruction, public displays of support for both Palestinians and Hamas itself have stoked fears for Jewish safety. France is home to approximately 500,000 Jews, compared to approximately 5,000,000 Muslims. Thirteen French citizens are known to have been killed by Hamas’s attacks, and a further 17, including 4 children are missing. They are believed to have been taken hostage by Hamas.

Despite the French authorities issuing stern warning not to gather, thousands of pro-Palestinian protestors gathered across French cities after the ban came into force. Police arrested 10 protestors in Paris, and a further 10 in Lille. They also used water cannons at the Parisian protest in order to disperse the 3000 strong crowd, who chanted slogans such as “Israel murderer” and “Palestine will win”.

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