A Palestine solidarity rally was held in Paris on Saturday, despite the Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo’s call on police to ban it.

During the rally, pro-Israel counter demonstrators attacked a journalist while the police watched and did not do anything.

Hajer M’tiri, a 26-year-old journalist with Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, was attacked by pro-Israel demonstrators at one point during the rally, apparently because she wore a headscarf.

The Electronic Intifada reported that the police placed a “ring of steel” around the Place du Châtelet in central Paris, and only a few hundred Palestine activists were allowed in.

All approach roads were blocked off and people had to show IDs.

“I saw many activists who today did not want to deal with the legions of armed riot police just go home,” an observer said, adding, “Officers were very aggressive and generally only let elderly – ‘harmless’ – people through.”

The observer, who asked not to be named, went on to say that “it was absolutely ridiculous – by far the most unpleasant security I have seen since Tel Aviv Plage in 2015.”

EuroPalestine, the group that organized the rally, said that the calls from the Paris mayor and the pro-Israel group CRIF to ban the event had only helped attract media attention.