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Palestinian solidarity protest takes place in Vienna despite ban



Several hundred people gathered for a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Vienna on Wednesday in spite of a ban to stop it.

The atmosphere during the unauthorised demonstration was heated but the police did not report any violence, Austria’s APA news agency reported.

Police did not interfere with the demonstrators at Stephansplatz in the city centre, but prevented them from continuing through the streets.

Police refused to issue a permit for the vigil after invitations featuring a Hamas slogan appeared on the internet.

As the organisers did not distance themselves from Hamas calls for violence against Israel, the rally was banned.

Police chief Gerhard Pürstl said the violent conflict in the Middle East should not be carried onto the streets of Vienna.

Israel was stunned by a large-scale attack by Hamas militants from the Gaza Strip on Saturday and has retaliated with massive airstrikes on the territory.

More than 1,000 people have died on each side.

Emmanuel Yashim

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