Renewed anti-Israeli protests took place Saturday as several thousand protestors in France and Italy rallied against Israel's military offensive, many burning American and Israeli flags and others holding Nazi swastikas, while those rallying in Egypt faced the batons of riot-police.
Anti-Israeli protests continued on Saturday in Paris, where protesters smashed the windows of a McDonald's restaurant on the capital's rue de Rivoli, while cars and buildings were vandalized during another Gaza protest held in the Mediterranean city of Nice.
Police said 2,600 people took part in the Paris protest. France is home to Europe's largest Muslim and Jewish minorities, and Israel's Gaza offensive has stirred up some tension between the two communities.
Rome: Muslim protestors pray, Pope donates
In Rome, thousands marched through the city holding banners with Nazi swastikas superimposed on the Star of David while others carried pictures of Palestinian children killed in Israel's offensive with the stated goal of halting rocket salvoes from the territory.
A large banner reading "Life, land and liberty for the Palestinian people" led the Rome demonstration.
The Hamas-run Health Ministry in Gaza says at least 1,205 Palestinians have been killed in the offensive, among them 410 children. Israel has lost 10 soldiers and three civilians hit by Hamas rocket fire.
As the demonstration passed the Colosseum, Muslims in the crowd bent in prayer facing the Qibla which falls towards the ancient monument.
Earlier this month, conservative politicians balked after Muslims in predominantly Catholic Italy prayed in public squares during demonstrations against Israel in Milan and Bologna.
Another demonstration took place in Assisi, the central Italian city where St. Francis was born.
The Vatican, meanwhile, announced that Pope Benedict had sent an unspecified amount of money from his personal charity funds to help the tiny Catholic population in Gaza. He has denouced Israel's killing of civilians.
Egypt: riot police beat protestors
In Cairo, Egyptian police used batons to beat protesters who rallied against the Israeli offensive, witnesses said.
The protest was called by the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's strongest opposition group, which has historical and ideological ties with Hamas Islamists in Gaza.
Witnesses said eight protesters were slightly injured during the clashes with anti-riot police, who had deployed in force several hours before the rally.
A security official, speaking on a customary condition of anonymity, said
police detained 25 people during the protest. Police usually release most of those held during demonstrations after several hours.