Europe 1 with AFP // Photo credit: Anna Margueritat / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP 19:53 p.m., December 09, 2023

Thousands of demonstrators marched in the streets of major cities across France on Saturday to express their "solidarity with the people of Gaza": "We support civilians, not Hamas." In Paris, 1,800 people chanted slogans calling for an end to the fighting.

"We support civilians, not Hamas": demonstrators marched Saturday afternoon in Paris and several cities in France to express their "solidarity with the people of Gaza" and demand an end to the Israeli army's bombing of Palestinian territory. In the Paris procession of 1,800 people, according to the police prefecture, which left from République to Nation, slogans such as "Immediate stop the bombings" and "Israel murders the children of Palestine", reports an AFP journalist.

"A life is worth a life"

"To imagine her colleagues working without water, without electricity, amputating without painkillers under bombardment, with armed soldiers entering health facilities is revolting," said Nora (she did not give her name), a member of the "Caregivers for Gaza" collective. "We support civilians, not Hamas. A life is worth a life," adds the 30-year-old nurse.

Gaël Quirante, a member of the leadership of the New Anti-Capitalist Party (NPA), one of the organizations calling for the demonstration, believes that "it is not at a time when Israel is intensifying its bombing and its massacre of the people of Gaza that we must (stop) the initiatives of the street." "On the contrary, we must continue to denounce the lead of the State of Israel" and "the amalgams that make some people want to equate support for the people of Gaza with anti-Semitism," he said.

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"Stop the massacre in Gaza, ceasefire immediately"

In Paris on Saturday afternoon, a rally was also held in front of the Sorbonne University, at the call of the National Collective for a Just and Lasting Peace between Palestinians and Israelis. A few dozen people took part, behind a banner reading "Stop the massacre in Gaza, immediate ceasefire," an AFP journalist said. In Strasbourg, 400 people marched according to the prefecture, and in Marseille, there were about 500 demonstrators, according to the police.

This demonstration in the Phocaean city at the call of the collective "Urgence Palestine Marseille" had been banned by the police prefecture "due to serious risks of disturbing public order" in the face of slogans deemed likely to "import logics of confrontation". But the administrative court finally suspended the decree after being seized in summary proceedings by the organizers. Other events also took place in Annecy (200 participants according to the prefecture) as well as in the west, in Nantes, Morlaix and Saint-Brieuc.

The war between Israel and Hamas, which entered its 64th day on Saturday, was sparked by a bloody and unprecedented attack by the Palestinian Islamist movement on Israel on October 7. According to Israel, 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the attack and 240 people were abducted and taken to Gaza, 138 of whom remain in captivity. Hamas said Saturday that the bombing had killed 17,700 people and wounded 48,780 in two months of war.