Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir ordered police on Sunday to remove Palestinian flags from public display, a possible response to a recently released terror convict shown waving a Palestinian flag last week. Anti-government protesters were also found to be waving the Palestinian flag in Tel Aviv on Saturday night.
The order allows any police officer to remove Palestinian flags while on duty.
As part of its coalition agreement, Ben Gvir’s Jewish Power party demanded the banning of Palestinian flags in public institutions, or institutions receiving public funding. This order goes beyond that, with the national security minister pairing the flag with support for terrorism and incitement.
“I have issued instructions for the removal of the flags, which support terrorism, from the public space and to stop incitement against the State of Israel,” Ben Gvir said in a statement. “Freedom of expression does not extend to identifying with a terrorist and those who want to harm IDF soldiers.”
On Sunday, Ben Gvir instructed Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai to investigate celebrations of the release of convicted terrorist Karim Younes, after pictures and videos of the celebrations were released on social media.
In the past, Israeli police have removed Palestinian flags on display in Jerusalem but have allowed them to be displayed at protests in Tel Aviv. The new order represents an attempt to change that practice and police are reportedly unsure whether they have the legal authority to enforce the order.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.