Pro-Palestinian demonstrators in the French capital, Paris, clashed with anti-riot police yesterday for the second consecutive day defying a ban on their rallies.
The unrest erupted in the city of Sarcelles, north of Paris, which has a large Jewish community.
French news reports said that police used rubber bullets against protesters who ransacked shops and burned cars.
The French government condemned the riots saying the violence that occurred has prompted the police to resort to using repression.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said, during a commemoration ceremony of Jews deportation from Paris during World War II, that violence was “unacceptable” and linked it to what he described as “a new form of anti-Semitism” in the suburbs where the majority of immigrants live, stressing that “attacking any Jew, is an attack against France”.
The French police arrested 44 protestors yesterday in the province of Barbès, northern Paris, during the riots.
Police said they banned the organisation of pro-Palestinian demonstrations for security reasons.
Seventeen policemen were wounded in clashes with teens who threw stones, bottles and other objects at the security forces.
Tens of demonstrators and bystanders were also slightly injured during the confrontations.
Valls said the violence which erupted proves that the Interior Ministry was right to ban the demonstration, stressing that “France will not allow provocateurs to nourish conflicts between its communities”.
Earlier, President Francois Hollande said he will not allow conflicts from the Middle East to be transferred to France, which hosts the largest Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe.