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Iraq criminalises flying Israel flag

Iraqi parliament in session [World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr]

The Iraqi parliament voted today to criminalise the flying of the Israeli flag in the country, Iraq’s Alsumaria reported.

The move came at the request of the Shiite leader of the parliament’s Citizen Bloc, Ammar Al-Hakim, after the Israeli banners appeared at several Kurdish rallies aftermath of the independence referendum which took place on 25 September.

Iraqi MP, Abbas Al-Bayati, told Alsumaria that “the House of Representatives voted on the unanimously voted a decision to criminalise all who raise the flag of the Israeli entity in the public.”

The decision, Al-Bayati added, will be referred to the government to decide on the law’s punishment duration.

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Recently, photos of the Israeli flags raised during a number of pro-independence rallies in the Kurdistan region of Iraq and across Europe were circulated across various social media platforms.

The Kurdish government has responded stressing that lifting the flags “does not express its official stance towards the Jewish state.”

Israel has been among the only countries to openly support an independent Kurdish state, and many Kurds have welcomed the support, drawing accusations from Arab leaders that the referendum was a Zionist plot.

The referendum was fiercely opposed by Turkey as it has threatened sanctions against the region. It was also considered “invalid” by Iran and Iraq.

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