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Israeli parliament advances bill to penalize 'terrorism flag wavers'

Palestinian supporters wave the Hamas movement's flag during a rally at Birzeit University, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 19, 2022. (Photo: Flash90)

The Knesset on Wednesday approved a preliminary bill that seeks to penalize those who use the flags of terror organizations.

The bill, initially approved in a 50-28 vote, seeks to extract a 10,000 NIS (approximately $2,700) fine to anyone who waves or hangs the flag of a terror organization, such as Hamas or Hezbollah.

Knesset Member Zvi Sukkot of the conservative Religious Zionism party introduced the bill to the Israeli parliament, while Justice Minister Yariv Levin from the ruling Likud party warned that incitement enables terrorism.

“Incitement to terrorism creates an atmosphere that influences individuals and organizations to commit [further] acts of terrorist,” said Levin.

Sukkot stressed that incitement and propaganda fuel terrorist activities.

“The main source of a terrorist organization’s power is the propaganda it produces, and that is what we are fighting,” said Sukkot, who initiated the anti-terrorism bill.

It is unclear whether the law would apply to the Palestinian Authority’s flag. While the PA has been criticized for systematic incitement against the Jewish state, the bill most likely will not target the waving of its flag as it is seen as a symbol of the entire Arab population in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and not belonging to a particular organization.

In January, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir ordered the removal of Palestinian Authority flags from public display, after instances where the flag was being used in the context of pro-terrorism 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,” stated Ben Gvir.

“Freedom of expression does not extend to identifying with a terrorist and those who want to harm IDF soldiers,” added the minister.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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