Police officers used tear gas and water cannons in Paris on Saturday to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally against the worst Israeli bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip in years.

Iran Press/Europe: Thousands of people converged in the heavily immigrant Barbes neighborhood in the north of the capital, defying orders issued by loudspeakers that the march was illegal.

Officers blocked off wide boulevards as well as narrow streets where some of the protesters were forced to retreat, while knots of residents and passers-by watched or recorded the scene with their phones.

Some threw stones or tried to set up roadblocks with construction barriers, but for the most part, police pursued groups across the district while preventing any march toward the Place de la Bastille as planned.

"You want to prohibit me from showing solidarity with my people, even as my village is being bombed?" Mohammed, 23 and wearing a "Free Palestine" t-shirt, told AFP.

The march was banned on Thursday over concerns of a repeat of the violence that took place at a similar Paris march during the last war in 2014 when protesters took aim at synagogues and other Israeli and Jewish targets. 219