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Activists protest Israeli premier’s planned visit to France

Pro-Palestinian activists shout anti- Israeli slogans during an anti-Israel protest in Paris on July 15, 2017. (Photo by AP)

French activists have launched a protest rally against the planned visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Paris, slamming Bibi’s human rights violations across the occupied Palestinian territories.

The protesters gathered in Place de la Republique square in Paris on Saturday, wearing T-shirts and holding portraits of Netanyahu  with signs reading (in French) "fascist,” “murderer,” “racist” and “torturer.”

The activists also chanted slogans against Israel’s continued settlement construction in the Palestinian occupied territories and the blockade of Gaza.

President Emmanuel Macron has invited Netanyahu to visit France.

Addressing the gathering, President of EuroPalestine Olivia Zemor lashed out at Macron for “rolling out the red carpet” for “a criminal, a torturer - the torture of men and children exists - a land thief, to someone who does not respect international law and human rights, which is embarrassing.”

Pro-Palestinian activists shout anti- Israeli slogans during an anti-Israel protest in Paris on July 15, 2017. (Photo by AP)

"How can Macron invite such a person? Netanyahu is someone who, if you even only take into consideration the international convention on torture, should be brought to justice the moment he sets foot in France. Because France has signed this convention, which states that anyone who is suspected of committing acts of torture, or to turn a blind eye to these acts, or ordering them, must be brought to justice. So what is he doing here?” she asked.

“He is not being brought to justice, we are rolling out the red carpet for him, what kind of image of France do we want to give?" Zemor pointed out.

In late June, pro-Palestinian campaigners from the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement and Les Désobeissants (the disobedient) held another protest rally in Paris to express their solidarity with the Palestinians.

The activists called for an immediate arms embargo against Tel Aviv until it ends its occupation of the Palestinian territories and complies with international law.

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Countries that have typically been supporting Israel in the past seem to be growing restless with Tel Aviv because of its defiant settlement activities on occupied territories. Such impatience was displayed in the passing of the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 in 2016, during which the United States — Israel’s staunchest ally — uncharacteristically decided not to wield its veto power and allowed the adoption of the text with a mere abstention, much to the chagrin of Tel Aviv.

The resolution calls on Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territories, including the West Bank.

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