French hard-left MP suspended for waving Palestinian flag in parliament

PARIS (Reuters) -France's lower house of parliament on Tuesday suspended a deputy from the hard-left Les Insoumis (LFI) party for 15 days for waving a Palestinian flag in the National Assembly, bringing proceedings to a halt for about an hour.

"This is not tolerable," National Assembly President Yael Braun-Pivet said as she suspended the session and excluded deputy Sebastien Delogu whose deputy's pay was also halved for two months.

Delogu waved the flag in support of Palestinians amid a barrage of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

The war has polarised public opinion around the world with France's LFI positioning itself as a defender of the Palestinians.

"I waved the Palestinian flag in the National Assembly ... because as I speak, France sells weapons, sells parts to supply the Israeli army," Delogu told reporters. "There is a genocide going on there."

The incident took place as junior trade minister Franck Riester was answering a question about the situation in Gaza, where Israel's offensive against Hamas militants has stirred global condemnation for the high civilian toll.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Nick Macfie)