Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protest during a demonstration following a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in London,…
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protest during a demonstration following a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in London, Britain, May 16, 2021.

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets Saturday in several cities in Europe, and elsewhere around the world, in support of Palestinians in the ongoing clashes with Israel.

In Paris, police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by authorities, who feared a flare-up of anti-Semitic violence during the worst fighting between Israel and Hamas in years.

The interior ministry said 2,500 to 3,500 people converged on the heavily immigrant Barbes neighborhood in the north of the capital, while organizers claimed as many as 5,000 rallied amid a massive security presence involving about 4,200 officers.

Some protesters threw stones or tried to set up roadblocks with construction barriers, but for the most part police pursued groups across the district while preventing any march toward the Place de la Bastille as planned.

Other demonstrators chanted "Free Palestine" or "Israel, get out, Palestine doesn't belong to you" while waving the territory's flag.

People gather outside Downing Street to protest against Israeli attacks on Palestinians in Gaza, in London, May 15, 2021.

In London, thousands of people demonstrated in the center of the city, calling on the British government to intervene to stop the Israeli military operation.

Protesters gathered at midday in Marble Arch and walked toward the Israeli Embassy, waving Palestinian flags and signs calling for the "liberation" of the Palestinian territories.

"The British government is complicit in these acts as long as it offers military, diplomatic and financial support to Israel," the organizers said.

'You just have to be human'

In Rome, a few hundred people gathered near the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, carrying large Palestinian flags and chanting slogans.

"You don't have to be a Muslim to support Palestine, you just have to be human," proclaimed a sign.

In Germany, thousands of people demonstrated in Berlin and in several cities at the call of pro-Palestinian collectives.

In the capital, three demonstrations were authorized for Saturday, including two in the popular district of Neukölln, in the south of the city.

People attend a protest rally in solidarity with Palestinians in Berlin, May 15, 2021.

Behind the slogan "March of the Palestinian people for liberation and return," thousands of people gathered in Hermannplatz, the central square of the district, waving Turkish and Palestinian flags, as well as signs calling for a "boycott of Israel."

Several thousand people demonstrated in Montreal to express their solidarity with the Palestinians, to demand "the liberation of Palestine" and to denounce the "war crimes" committed by Israel in Gaza.

"Jerusalem belongs to the Palestinians" proclaimed a banner at a rally in a downtown square as protesters chanted "Free Palestine" or "Terrorist Israel," an AFP journalist noted.

A demonstration had taken place a little earlier in front of the Consulate General of Israel in the west of the Quebec metropolis.

Baghdad rally

In Iraq, thousands of supporters of firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr rallied in the capital, Baghdad, to denounce deadly Israeli assaults on Palestinians in the occupied territories.

"We stand with the Palestinian people for better or worse," Sadr said in a statement delivered by his Baghdad representative, Sheikh Ibrahim al-Jabari.

In Tunisia, demonstrations took place in several cities. Hundreds of demonstrators draped in Palestinian flags gathered in central Tunis, before marching on Habib Bourguiba Avenue, watched by police.

Among the slogans of the demonstrators, who defied the pandemic restrictions in force until Sunday, were "Tunisians support Palestine!" and “The people want to criminalize normalization with Israel!”