Looters ransack Paris watch store after Gaza demo
Looters made off with more than EUR 200,000 worth of stock after demonstrators marched in protest in Paris on Saturday against Israel’s Gaza offensive.PARIS – Looters ransacked a Paris watchmaker and grabbed more than EUR 200,000 worth of stock in the wake of a protest against Israel's Gaza offensive, the shop said Monday.
A manager of the Louis Pion boutique in central Paris' Opera district said "40 vandals came in, in three successive waves at three-minute intervals," on Saturday. Police confirmed they had opened an inquiry.
More than 20,000 demonstrators marched in Paris on Saturday to protest Israel's assault on Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip and, while most dispersed peacefully, between 200 and 300 went on the rampage.
Following the protest, mobs that peeled off from the main march overturned around a dozen cars, burning several of them, and smashed the windows of several shops on Paris's iconic shopping street, the Boulevard Haussmann.
Twelve people remained in custody Monday in connection with the violence, judicial officials said.
On Monday, some 500 people marched in the southern French city of Marseille behind a Palestinian flag and giant banners reading "Israel terrorists, child killers" and "Boycott Israeli products".
"We are all Palestinians," chanted the demonstrators, who included far-left activists.
For more than a week Israeli forces have been bombarding Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip in what their government says is an attempt to halt rocket attacks on civilian targets in southern Israel.
Saturday's anti-Israeli protest in Paris was one of several around the world, and coincided with the launch of an Israeli ground offensive.
[AFP / Expatica]