Israel’s new far-right Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, has instructed police to remove Palestinian flags from public spaces, calling the Palestinian national symbol an act of “terrorism”.
Israeli law does not prohibit Palestinian flags, but police and soldiers have the right to remove them in cases where they feel there is a threat to public order.
Sunday’s directive from Ben-Gvir, who heads the ultranationalist party in Netanyahu’s far-right government, appeared to signal a tough and uncompromising stance on “expressions of identity and free speech and pro-Palestinian demonstrations.”
Ben-Gvir’s orders came after a massive anti-government protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday, where some demonstrators waved the Palestinian flag.
Protesters labeled the government of recently sworn-in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “fascist” and called for equality and coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis.
“It cannot happen that lawbreakers wave terrorist flags, incite and encourage terrorism, so I ordered the removal of flags that support terrorism from public space and to stop incitement against Israel,” Ben-Gvir was quoted as saying.