The Israeli Knesset has voted on a preliminary approval for a bill that, if passed with three further votes, would forbid the public display of the Palestinian flag, describing it belonging to “hostile entities.”
Almog Cohen, a legislator from Otzma Yehudit, put forth a bill which states that a group of three or more people displaying a flag of a “hostile entity” or organization would be considered an illegal assembly.
If the bill passes, it would be a criminal offense punishable by up to a year in prison to fly the Palestinian flag in public.
Many Arab citizens of Israel and left-wing Israelis who are opposed to Netenyahu government’s settlement policies often display the Palestinian flag to signify their Palestinian identity.
Adalah, an organization advocating for the rights of Arab minorities in Israel, declared in an announcement that the police’s actions of taking down flags and arresting those who are displaying them are an immense violation of their power and the law.
Adalah asserted that this bill is more severe than what was outlined in the coalition agreement with Otzma Yehudit, since it forbids the display of the flag in any public setting, not only in state or state-funded institutions.