The planned demonstration would target France's government as well as Israel, with organisers saying Paris is too favourable towards the Middle Eastern state.

A protester holds a placard during a pro-Palestine demonstration near Barbes-Rochechouart metro station in Paris, France on July 19, 2014.
A protester holds a placard during a pro-Palestine demonstration near Barbes-Rochechouart metro station in Paris, France on July 19, 2014. (AFP)

A French court has upheld a police ban on a pro-Palestine demonstration planned for Saturday in Paris, but the organisers say they are not cancelling the march.

Activists had called the protest in the working-class district of Barbes in northern Paris to demonstrate against Israel's use of force in Gaza. 

Earlier on Thursday, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin had asked the police to ban a pro-Palestine protest in Paris this weekend over the conflict with Israel, fearing a repeat of clashes during a similar situation in 2014.

“I have asked the Paris police chief to ban the protests on Saturday linked to the recent tensions in the Middle East,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter.

 Following the failure of their initial petition, the lawyers say they will appeal to France's top administrative court, the Conseil d'Etat.

Sefen Guez Guez, one of the lawyers earlier called the police ban "disproportionate" and "politically motivated."

READ MORE:Gazans flee homes as death toll from Israeli attacks soars to 126 

The protest organisers said they had no plans to call off Saturday's action.

"We refuse to silence our solidarity with the Palestinians, and we will not be prevented from demonstrating," the Association of Palestinians in the Ile-de-France capital region and other groups said shortly after the court ban was announced.

Among the 30 groups planning Saturday's action are anti-fascists and the new Anti-Capitalist party.

Earlier representatives of the association told AFP that France is "the only democratic country to forbid these demonstrations."

READ MORE: Explained: The times Israel has invaded Gaza

Police chief fears 'serious disturbance', critics say attack on freedom of expression

Police chief fears 'serious disturbance,' critics say attack on freedom of expression

Paris police chief Didier Lallement said allowing the demonstration would risk "a serious disturbance of public order," adding that he feared "acts against synagogues and Israeli interests."

While he referred to violence at the 2014 demonstration, Guez Guez responded there had been "no problem at all" at many protests since.

The planned demonstration would target France's government as well as Israel, with organisers saying Paris is too favourable towards the Middle Eastern state.

President Emmanuel Macron's office said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, offering his "condolences for the victims of the rocket fire claimed by Hamas and other terrorist groups."

The statement said Macron urged a return to peace, "and also communicated to his counterpart his concern about the civilian population in Gaza."

French politicians were mostly split along party lines over the protest ban, with Macron's centre-right party and the right-wing opposition supporting the move, while leftists called it an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression.

But Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, a Socialist, said the government had made a "wise" decision.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin on Thursday told police chiefs elsewhere in France to keep a close eye on planned demonstrations and also ban them if necessary, and to bolster police protection of the Jewish community.

Worldwide, only Israel and the United States have bigger Jewish populations than France.

Beyond the Paris ban, police in Mediterranean port city Marseille said a march there must be converted into a stationary protest, while Darmanin said another in eastern Strasbourg was also blocked.

Police in Lyon and Bordeaux told AFP that there were no restrictions on rallies there.

Israel bombarded Gaza with artillery and air strikes on Friday, intensifying a conflict that has now claimed at least 141 lives.

READ MORE: Israel's 'Dahiya Doctrine,' a plan for mass civilian deaths in Gaza

Source: AFP