France becomes first country to ban pro-Palestine protests

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Paris, July 19: The French government on Saturday became the first in the world to ban protests against Israeli aggression in Palestine. Socialist Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the mass demonstration planned for the weekend should be stopped, a DailyMail report said.

[Read: Gaza toll crosses 330]

The decision, however, drew sharp criticism as opponents accused Cazeneuve of criminalizing popular support. The minister although said that the protests posed a threat to public order.

Thousands of protesters were set to take out rallies against the Israeli aggression in Gaza, seeking an immediate end to hostilities in which over 330, including children, have perished so far.

The French authorities took the decision to stop repeat of last Sunday's clash

The French authorities decided to ban the protest fearing a repeat of the clash between Jewish vigilantes and pro-Palestinians that broke out following a demonstration last Sunday, the report said.

Anybody who joined an illegal demonstration in France could face up to a year in prison and a fine of 15,000 euro. The legal procedure taken by the Paris police authorities to stop the protest march found support from the interior minister.

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