French police have banned a pro-Palestinian demonstration against Israel's offensive on Gaza due to take place in Paris after a similar protests turned violent recently, with troublemakers clashing with police and attacking kosher stores and synagogues.
Two of the rallies had been prohibited but went ahead anyway. Hardliners took to the streets in a Paris suburb known as "little Jerusalem" because of its mixed Jewish and Arab inhabitants plunging it into chaos.
French Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve called on the organisers to cancel the rally. "I urge the organisers to abandon the event on Saturday," he told AFP, accusing them of taking a "high-risk path" if they went ahead.
A lawyer from Palestinian Youth movement, who organised the rally, said they had filed a lawsuit against the ruling. "The government is trying to ban a fundamental right", said Omar Alsoumi.
France is home to Europe's largest Jewish community and Muslim population. The country's foreign minister Laurent Fabius said Jews are living in fear because of a wave of anti-Semitism fuelled by the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Earlier Fabius joined his German and Italian counterparts in issuing a joint condemnation of anti-Semitic incidents that have been reported across the continent.
Even before Israel launched Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza, tensions had been rising in France.
In June, Jewish community leaders warned that a record number of Jews were leaving the country due to what they described as an increasingly anti-Semitic environment.
More than 1,400 Jews emigrated in the first three months of 2014, four times as many as in the same period in 2013.
Two deadly attacks carried out recently against Jews by home-grown Islamist radicals have been pivotal in stirring up fears amid the French Jewish community.
In 2012, four Jews - including three children - and three soldiers were shot dead in Toulouse by 23-year-old French Islamist Mohamed Merah.