Israel bans Palestinian flags in public spaces

Israel bans Palestinian flags in public spaces

Israel’s Homeland Security Minister ordered police on Monday to remove Palestinian flags from public spaces, in a new campaign by the country’s militant new government.

Itamar Ben-Gvir’s order followed other punitive measures against Palestinians since he took office last month.

“Today I ordered the Israel Police to enforce a ban on flying any PLO flag displaying identification with a terrorist organization in any public space and stop any incitement against the State of Israel,” the minister announced on Twitter.

The new government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has moved quickly against the Palestinians in retaliation for a Palestinian campaign of the United Nations’ highest judicial body speaking out over Israel’s 55-year-old military occupation of the West Bank.

The state has withheld nearly $40 million in Palestinian tax revenue and claims it will transfer the money to victims of Palestinian armed attacks, strip the Palestinian authorities of their privileges, and even broke up a meeting of Palestinian parents on their children’s education, on the grounds that it had illegal funding from the Palestinian Authority.

Ben-Gvir, a belligerent far-right leader known for his anti-Arab rhetoric, drew international condemnation last week when he visited Jerusalem’s most disputed place of worship.

The successive moves could escalate tensions after the deadliest year of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in almost two decades, according to a report by the Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

Ben-Gvir’s latest order was not the first dispute over the Palestinian flag.

The red, green and white colors of the Palestinian flag have great symbolism in the conflict. Last May, Israeli riot police beat pallbearers at the funeral of slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, causing them to nearly drop the coffin. Police tore Palestinian flags from people’s hands and threw flash grenades to disperse the crowd.

In the past, Israel viewed the Palestinian flag as the banner of an armed group equivalent to the Palestinian Hamas or the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. But after Israel and the Palestinians signed a series of interim peace agreements known as the Oslo Accords, the flag was recognized as the ensign of the Palestinian Authority, created to administer Gaza and parts of the occupied West Bank.

Israel opposes the PA doing any official business in East Jerusalem, and police have broken up events in the past that they accused of PA ties.

Netanyahu told his government on Sunday that the moves against the Palestinians are intended to prevent what he described as an “extreme move against Israel” at the United Nations.

Palestinian citizens of Israel make up 20% of the population and have had a complicated relationship with the state since its creation in 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced to leave in the events following the formation of the state of Israel. .

Those who stayed became citizens, though some Israelis view them with suspicion because of their ties to Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, territories captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East War.

The Palestinians claim all three areas for an independent state. Netanyahu’s new government is dominated by hard-line leaders who oppose the formation of a Palestinian state.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.