Pro-Palestinian protesters throw petrol bomb at Paris synagogue

Protesters clash with riot police in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014, during a demonstration to denounce Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and show their support for the Palestinian people. (photo credit: AFP/Omar Bouyacoub)

Pro-Palestinian protesters hurled a Molotov cocktail at a Paris synagogue on Sunday afternoon after a demonstration against Israel’s military operation in the Gaza Strip descended into violence.

The synagogue, located on the Val d’Oise in the Sarcelles district of the French capital, suffered no damage in the attack, French newspaper Le Figaro reported. Sarcelles, in the north of the city, is home to a large Sephardic Jewish community.

The riot broke out after a few hundred people assembled at a local metro station to protest Israel’s actions in Gaza, as well as the decision by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazaneuve to ban rallies against Israel following the staging of riots last week outside several synagogues in the Paris region.

According to AFP, violence began when a large police force moved in to break up the protest. Two cars were torched and several others were damaged, their windows broken.

A large police contingent positioned itself to try to block access to the synagogue where around 30y Jewish people, armed with metal bars and clubs, had arrived to protect the building. The French Jewish Defense League, or LDJ, said on Twitter that it was guarding the synagogue along with police.

As the two sides faced off and traded taunts, the pro-Palestinian protesters began to attack the media covering the incident. Several journalists were assaulted, a cameraman was robbed of his equipment, and an AFP photographer was injured…

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