Berlin police banned a pro-Palestinian rally planned for New Year’s Eve from moving forward Saturday, warning that the event could cause crimes.
Berlin police chief Barbara Slowik says authorities feared that certain groups would join the event and use it as an excuse to commit crimes. Pro-Palestinian protests, both violent and peaceful, have spread across the West in recent months.
“Crimes are to be expected — in the area or from this gathering,” Slowik said on German radio.
“The situation is emotional. An influx of troublemakers is to be expected who could use the meeting to commit crimes. No meeting leader could keep such a development under control. That’s why the police banned the demonstration,” she added.
The event’s organizers had expected a group of just 100 people, but authorities said they believed far more would attend.
The move comes as anti-Israel protesters shouted “Allahu Akbar” and other slogans during a demonstration at the site of the World Trade Center.
While “Allahu akbar” means “God is great” in Arabic, the phrase has been used by terrorists during attacks.
The Thursday protest was on the site where, 22 years ago, Islamic terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The group shut down the entrance to the World Trade Center building while other protesters marched to City Hall and Zuccotti Park near Wall Street.
The demonstration was part of a “Flood NYC for Palestine” protest and one of many that have been held in the city and across the country since the Israel-Hamas war started in October after Hamas’ unprovoked attack on the country.
Earlier last week, pro-Palestinian protesters carried blood-covered mock nativity scenes near Rockefeller Center, shouting “Christmas is canceled here.”
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report