Cologne (dpa) - Around 800 people demonstrated against Israel and for Palestine in Cologne on Saturday.

They waved Palestinian flags and signs with inscriptions such as “Freedom for Palestine” and “Stop the Genocide”, but also “Against Zionists - not against Jews”.

Since about twice as many people had come as registered, the corona distances could not be adhered to in the space provided for the rally in Cologne's old town.

Therefore, the leader of the meeting ended the demonstration prematurely, said a police spokesman.

Two participants climbed an equestrian statue during the rally and unfurled a Palestinian flag.

At the request of the police - who were present with massive forces - they came down again.

The reason for the demonstration was the so-called Nakba Day, which the Palestinians celebrate on May 15.

It refers to the flight and expulsion of Arab people from the British Mandate of Palestine.


The anti-Semitism commissioner of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), had warned in advance that the right of assembly and demonstration should not be misused to spread hatred of Jews.

She would like the organizers of the Nakba demo to distance themselves from any form of anti-Semitism.

"This of course also includes not questioning Israel's right to exist or demonizing the State of Israel."

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210515-99-611009 / 2