Tear-gas Grenades Thrown in Theaters Screening New Film About Israeli Army

The Paris premiere of “Zahal,” a five-hour documentary film about the Israeli army by Claude Lanzmann, was disrupted by tear-gas grenades Wednesday in both movie theaters where it was being screened.

Near the Champs-Elysees, two people entered the theater after the screening began and after a few minutes threw one tear-gas grenade, provoking panic among the spectators.

The cashier tried to stop the assailants, but she was violently pushed aside and sprayed with tear gas.

Three people were taken to the hospital with what the Paris fire department spokesman described as light injuries.

Near Montparnasse, in the second movie theater where the film was being premiered, three persons entered the theater and threw tear-gas grenade.

At that theater there were no injuries, but the public was evacuated.

An anonymous caller, saying he was speaking on behalf of an extreme-right-wing student organization called Groupe Union Defense, claimed responsibility for both attacks.

The caller said the attacks were made “in solidarity with the Palestinian people, victim of the daily atrocities of the Zionist occupation army.”

Lanzmann, a French Jew, creator of the film “Shoah” and a longtime outspoken left-wing intellectual whose first film, “Pourquoi Israel?” was strongly critical of the Jewish state, said he had unsuccessfully requested police protection in front of the theaters.

No representative of the Paris police was reachable for comment.

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