Israel’s Ben-Gvir orders removal of Palestinian flags from public spaces

In a controversial statement, Israel’s extreme-right firebrand national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir says waving the Palestinian flag is an act in support of terrorism.

Israel’s new far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has instructed police to remove Palestinian flags from public spaces.

Ben-Gvir, who heads an ultranationalist party in Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government and as minister oversees the police, gave the directives on Sunday.

It follows the release last week of a long-serving Palestinian prisoner, convicted of kidnapping and killing an Israeli soldier in 1983, who waved a Palestinian flag while receiving a hero’s welcome in his village in northern Israel.

Ben-Gvir, in a statement, said that waving the Palestinian flag is an act in support of “terrorism”.

“It cannot be that lawbreakers wave terrorist flags, incite and encourage terrorism, so I ordered the removal of flags supporting terrorism from the public space and to stop the incitement against Israel,” Ben-Gvir said.

Israeli law does not outlaw Palestinian flags but police and soldiers have the right to remove them in cases where they deem there is a threat to public order.

Arabs in Israel account for around a fifth of the population and most are descendants of Palestinians who remained within the newly founded state after the  1948 Arab-Israeli War.

They have long debated their place in Israel’s politics, balancing their Palestinian heritage with their Israeli citizenship, with many identifying as or with the Palestinians.

Source: TRT World


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