demonstrations in london, paris, berlin, new york, toronto

London March Over Israel-Gaza Violence Results in 9 Police Officers Injured, Police Say
Sputnik News, May 15 2021

LONDON) – Several police officers were injured at the demonstration held in support of Palestinians in London, the Metropolitan Police said. “Nine officers were injured as they worked to disperse crowds outside the Israeli Embassy in Kensington this evening (Saturday, 15 May),” the police said. A total of thirteen people were arrested in London on Saturday, according to Scotland Yard. The police said on Saturday:

Nine people were arrested on suspicion of violent disorder and a further four people were arrested on suspicion of breaching the Health Protection Regulations. They remain in custody.

According to the Metropolitan Police, protesters were encouraged to disperse first, but were met with hostility and had to take action to end the protest.

According to local media reports, participants in the London march were throwing bottles and eggs at police. Earlier on Saturday, a Sputnik correspondent reported that thousands of people marched in support of Palestinians in central London. The march was organized by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). The protest started off as a peaceful demonstration, and the majority of people were wearing masks. Marches in support of Palestinians have been held across the UK, as well as in a number of other countries, amid the recent escalation at the Gaza Strip border that has resulted in over 140 deaths among the Palestinians, including more than 40 among children. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, more than 1,300 Palestinians have been injured amid tensions with Israel.

Police use water cannon to disperse pro-Palestinian protesters in Paris, May 15 2021

French police deployed a water cannon to disperse a crowd of pro-Palestine supporters in Paris’ Barbes-Rochechouart neighborhood. The illegal rally took place amid Israel-Gaza escalation. The rally was banned by authorities amid concerns of “risks of disturbances to public order.” The organizers said they will march anyway to show solidarity with the Palestinians during the most recent armed confrontation between Israel and Hamas.

The Association of the Palestinians in Ile-de-France said:

We refuse to silence our solidarity with the Palestinians, and we will not be prevented from demonstrating.

Around 4,200 police officers were deployed to manage the rally. Hamas began firing rockets at Israeli cities on Monday, to which the IDF responded by bombing multiple targets in Gaza. The cross-border attacks led to civilian casualties on both sides. The escalation was preceded by clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in East Jerusalem.

French police crack down on pro-Palestine protesters in Paris
Middle East Eye, May 16 2021

Middle East Eye’s live stream from Paris as police forces violently disperse protesters who defied the government’s ban on demonstrations showing solidarity with Palestinians.

Violent clashes in Berlin as police break up pro-Palestinian demonstration, May 15 2021

Clashes broke out on the streets of the German capital as police sought to disperse a thousands-strong demonstration in support of the Palestinians amid the ongoing violent standoff between Israel and Gaza.
Chaotic scenes unfolded in Berlin’s district of Neukolln as police officers attempted to break up a massive demonstration in support of the Palestinians. Some 3,500 people joined the rally to condemn what they called “barbaric aggression” by the “occupying power.”

The protesters were moving in a large crowd while waving the flags of the State of Palestine and carrying placards that read: “Zionism is terrorism” and “Child Killer Israel.” Some Turkish flags were also seen in the crowd that chanted “Free Palestine.”

The police repeatedly urged the protesters to comply with the Covid-19 rules, involving social distancing and a requirement to wear face masks in public but the demands were “unsuccessful,” law enforcement said in a Twitter post, adding that even the rally organizers admitted that they were “unable to exert influence on the participants.”

The rally at Neukolln’s Hermannplatz square was organized by the German branch of the Samidoun group under the slogan ‘Day of Political Prisoners of Palestine’. The rally organizers have links to the PFLP, according to German media.

Around a half an hour after the protest started, the police sought to break up the rally and disperse the crowd. While some protesters left the scene, between 800 and 1,200 demonstrators stayed and started pelting the officers with bottles and paving stones. They also fired flares and smoke pellets.

Videos published on social media show the crowd chanting “Allahu Akbar.” A video published by Ruptly news agency shows the protesters throwing various projectiles at the police as well as even attacking the officers at one point. The police responded by using tear gas. The footage also shows the officers brutally detaining some of the demonstrators.

The clashes in Neukolln continued until the early evening. Police confirmed that the scuffles ended up with “numerous police officers injured” and some demonstrators arrested but did not provide any specific details on the number of those injured or detained.

A reporter from the German daily Die Welt, Martin Heller, who was covering the protest, was hit by a bottle thrown by one of the protesters, the journalist said in a Twitter post. Elsewhere, the chief Europe correspondent of the Israeli broadcaster Kann, Antonia Yamin, had a firecracker thrown at her apparently because someone heard she was reporting in Hebrew.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations were also held in several other German cities, including Hamburg, Colonge, Stuttgart and Hanover. They were attended by hundreds of protesters but went off peacefully, according to the police. In Leipzig, a pro-Palestinian rally faced a rival “pro-Israel” demonstration. Even though tensions between the two groups of protesters ran high, they did not result in violence, the local police said.

Hundreds rally for Palestine solidarity in New York
Middle East Eye, May 16 2021

In New York, hundreds have come out to protest in solidarity with Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Demonstrators marched through the city streets chanting “Hey hey. Ho, ho. The occupation’s got to go!”

Clashes break out at massive pro-Palestinian rally in Toronto, May 16 2021

Police separate Palestine supporters from Israel supporters, Toronto, May 15, 2021.
Photo: Chris Helgren/Reuters

A large pro-Palestine rally has been held in Toronto, Canada amid the escalation between Israel and Gaza. The gathering was met by a small pro-Israel group, and the two sides engaged in scuffles despite a massive police presence. The rally, organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM), was held in central Toronto on Saturday. The organizers urged the participants to show their support towards the Palestinian cause, condemning the past and ongoing “ethnic cleansing of Palestine.”

The protesters carried a large Palestinian flag and chanted “Free free Palestine, occupation is a crime.”

The rally encountered a small-scale counter-protest, with some activists displaying insignias of the JDL. While the opposing rallies were separated from one another by a massive police barrier, this did not prevent sporadic clashes.

At least one pro-Palestinian protester was detained by the police for assaulting pro-Israeli protesters. The arrest further angered the crowd, with some protesters accusing the officers of being “Zionist” as well. Anti-police slogans were heard during the altercation.

At least one pro-Israeli activist was assaulted by rowdy pro-Palestinian protesters, who attacked the elderly man with sticks and pant belts. The protester sustained injuries to his head, footage from the scene shows.

The pro-Palestinian gathering was blasted by B’nai Brith Canada, which condemned it for “brutal assaults” on the pro-Israeli activists. The groups invoked the Covid-19 card as well, branding the rally a “super-spreader” event.

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