Pro-Palestinian organizations opposing annexation protest in France

The "mass" rally marched through the Paris center - from Barbès to Châtelet - "in solidarity with Palestine and its resistance."

Settlement of Elon Moreh, near Nablus, West Bank, June 11, 2020 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Settlement of Elon Moreh, near Nablus, West Bank, June 11, 2020
A number of notably pro-Palestinian organizations demonstrated in opposition to Israel's plans to annex 30% of the West Bank in Barbes, France on Saturday.
The protest was organized by groups such as Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, BDS France-RP, CAPJPO-EuroPalestine, Forum Palestine Citoyenneté and Collectif Argenteuil Solidarité Palestine, among others.
Those in attendance marched through the center of Paris - from Barbès to Châtelet - "in solidarity with Palestine and its resistance."
"The Israeli government of Netanyahu promised, with the support of the Trump administration and the complicity of the European Union, to directly annex a large portion of occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank on 1 July, a blatant violation of international law," Samidoun, who advocates for solidarity with Palestinian prisoners, wrote on their website.
"The claim to annex 30% of the West Bank, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel for 53 years, represents another blatant theft of Palestinian land and a new wave of ethnic cleansing that the Israeli colonizer has carried out against the Palestinian people sicne [sic]1948," Samidoun added.
"This openly colonialist and racist regime feels even more confident on this criminal path as world news focuses on the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences. It hopes to divert attention from its ongoing crimes against the Palestinian people," they continued.
Parallel events were planned across France in Lille, Marseille, Nice, Strasbourg, Ajaccio, Albertville, Auch, Auxerre, Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Nancy, Nimes, Rennes and Saint-Etienne advocating for the Palestinian people in response to Israel's annexation plans.
Other rallies took place all across Europe and North America in places like Luxembourg, Gothenburg (Sweden), Bonn, Koblenz (Germany), Vienna (Austria), Rome, Milan, Turin, Naples, Bologna, Cagliari, Genoa, Messina, Palermo, Siracusa, Vicenza (Italy), Santa Ana (California), Toronto (Canada), according to the Simon Wisenthal Center.
"As usual during these rallies, there is the danger of antisemitic manifestations such as demonizing slogans and chants, the promotion of BDS, and, as in summer 2014, violence by turned on marchers peeling off to attack Jewish or presumed Jewish targets," declared Simon Wiesenthal Center Director for International Relations Dr. Shimon Samuels. "Apart from the chants, police in riot gear kept marchers from leaving the flanks or exiting into side streets, thus this time containing violence."
"The exercise will be repeated on 1 July. We are in contact with the appropriate Ministries in each of the European sites involved," concluded Samuels.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been under pressure to apply sovereignty over West Bank settlements, all of which are included in the 30% of Area C of the West Bank the Trump plan has green-lighted for annexation.
The US would support Israeli annexation in the West Bank, but only if such a step was executed within the context of the Trump peace plan, a US Jerusalem Embassy spokesperson clarified to reporters on Friday.
“As we have made consistently clear, we are prepared to recognize Israeli actions to extend Israeli sovereignty and the application of Israeli law to areas of the West Bank that the vision foresees as being part of the State of Israel,” the spokesperson said.
In doing so, the spokesperson distanced West Bank annexation from the creation of a Palestinian state, but linked it firmly to the Trump peace plan. The Trump peace plan details a four-year process toward the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state on 70% of the West Bank.
Israel is expected to engage in talks with the Palestinians toward the creation of a demilitarized state, should the Palestinians agree to hold such negotiations. But annexation is not contingent upon Palestinian agreement to such talks.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this story.