By Biodun Busari
Israel’s Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir has instructed police to remove Palestinian flags from public spaces.
Ben-Gvir gave the order on Sunday while labelling the Palestinian national symbol an act of “terrorism.”
Israeli law has not outlawed Palestinian flags but police and soldiers have the right to remove them in cases where they deem there is a threat to public order, according to Al Jazeera on Monday.
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Ben-Gvir, who heads the ultranationalist Jewish Power party in Benjamin Netanyahu’s new far-right government oversees the police.
The directive seemed to gesture an assertive and uncompromising attitude towards Palestinian expressions of identity and free speech and pro-Palestinian protests.
The display of the Palestinian flag in Israel has practically long been clamped down on by Israeli authorities, with Palestinians regarding such moves as an attempt to suppress Palestinian identity.
Ben-Gvir’s orders came after a mass anti-government protest in Tel Aviv on Saturday, where some demonstrators waved the Palestinian flag.
Protesters labelled the recently sworn-in government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “fascist” and advocated for equality and coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis.
Writing on Twitter, Netanyahu on Sunday said the presence of the Palestinian flag at the Tel Aviv protest was “wild incitement”.
Last week, he visited the al-Aqsa Holy Temple site that shelters Palestinian mosques which raised a lot of criticisms, especially from the Arab world.
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