Palestinians dare Israeli police to take down flags

January 12, 2023 by Baruch Yedid - TPS
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The Palestinians have launched a campaign testing Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir and the Israeli Police by daring them to take down Palestinian flags.

The Palestinian Flag. Credit: Makbula Nassar/Wikimedia Commons

Ben-Gvir on Sunday instructed police to take down Palestinian flags flying in public areas. The orders came in response to the family of Arab-Israeli terrorist Karim Younis displaying a flag inside a tent set up to celebrate his release from prison. Younis served 40 years for murdering an Israeli soldier in 1980.

The campaign calls on residents of the Palestinian Authority, Arab-Israelis and residents of eastern Jerusalem to display flags on rooftops, balconies, cars and streets.

Young Palestinians in eastern Jerusalem responded by hanging hundreds of flags in alleys and streets. And members of the Arab-Israeli Communist Party posted photos on social media waving the flag in the town of Umm al-Fahm, near Haifa.

The police will be further tested in the coming days. On Friday, Palestinians are expected to bring flags to morning prayers on the Temple Mount and to weekly protests in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Some Arab-Israelis are also likely to bring Palestinian flags to a Saturday night protest in Tel Aviv against controversial judicial reforms.

Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled in November that police can take down Palestinian flags on a case-by-case basis if authorities believe their display threatens public order. However, the court was not asked to rule on the legality of a blanket ban.

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