Amnesty International has criticised Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s “repressive” ban on raising the Palestinian flag in public places inside Israel as a “cowardly and expected attempt to obliterate the identity of the Palestinian people and a blatant violation of the United Nations charters and human rights.”
The rights watchdog added in a statement issued yesterday that the results of a survey it had conducted revealed that “the incitement against the Palestinian flag by Israeli politicians and organisations over the past years have had great success in instilling fear in the hearts of most Jews upon seeing it.”
It called on the Israeli authorities to retract the instructions issued by Ben-Gvir, warning that they “constitute a clear violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and United Nations charters, which constitute a cornerstone of international law.”
The organisation’s spokesman, Rami Haidar, said, “the instructions to implement the ban on raising the Palestinian flag fall within the scope of collective punishment on a racist basis,” noting that its suppression constitutes the basis for violating human rights, and may lead to other prohibitions and restrictions.
On Sunday, Ben-Gvir instructed the police to prevent the raising of Palestinian flags in public places.
The decision came after celebrations organised in the town of Ara in Israel following the release of prisoner Karim Younes, who spent 40 years in captivity, featured Palestinian flags.