It was the day Paris united. And with dozens of world leaders joining the millions of people marching to commemorate and celebrate the victims of last week’s terror attacks it was also the day the world united behind the city.
“Today, Paris is capital of the world. The entire country will rise up,” the French president, François Hollande, told the French people.
It was the first time since the Libération of Paris in August 1944 that so many people – the interior ministry said there were too many to count but most estimates put it at somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million – took to the streets of the city.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will attend a mass national rally in Paris on Sunday to pay tribute to the 17 victims of Islamist attacks there this week, including four people killed at a Jewish supermarket, a diplomatic source said. bbas will be joined by many world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the rally which is expected to draw more than a million people.
Ahead of the rally, Abbas is slated to meet with French President Francois Hollande. On Saturday, Abbas called Hollande to offer condolences over the attacks.
“‘At this solemn moment of tragedy our hearts and minds are with you in the face of terrorism that has no religion,” Abbas said, according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency “The entire Palestinian people are pained by what has taken place.”
France vowed to combat terrorism with “a cry for freedom” in a giant rally for unity Sunday after three days of bloodshed that horrified the world. Police searched for a woman linked to the three al-Qaida-inspired attackers, but a Turkish official said she appears to have already slipped into Syria.
The rally Sunday is also a huge security challenge for a nation on alert for more violence, after 17 people and three gunmen were killed over three days of attacks on a satirical newspaper, a kosher supermarket and on police that have left France a changed land. Officials from across Europe and elsewhere, including Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of Turkey, were in Paris to attend the rally.