By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
JERUSALEM (Worthy News) – Israeli-Palestinian tensions rose further Monday after Israel’s new National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, instructed police to remove Palestinian flags from public spaces.
Ben-Gvir’s order followed the release last week of a long-serving Palestinian prisoner, convicted of kidnapping and killing an Israeli soldier in 1983.
The freed man was seen waving a Palestinian flag while receiving a hero’s welcome in his village in northern Israel.
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.
“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.
The decision by Ben-Gvir, who oversees the police, was due to be closely followed by Palestinian officials seeking to carve out their state in the region.
Commenting on the Palestinian flag being confiscated by Israeli police last year, Husam Zomlot, Palestinian ambassador to the United Kingdom, said the removal was “an expression of 74 years of denial and erasure”.
“It’s an act of wholesale denial of our individual and collective rights and a continuation of the erasure of Palestinian demography and national identity ongoing since 1948,” Zomlot said.
However, Ben-Gvir, who heads an ultra-nationalist party in the government of recently re-elected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seems to take a hard line in removing Palestinian flags.
Ben-Gvir made clear that waving the Palestinian flag is, in his view, an act in support of terrorism.
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