Raising Palestinian Flags is Allowed

May 17, 2022 01:45 pm

Adapted from Haaretz – Family of Liberation

Inspector-General Kobe Shabtai rushed to order an investigation into the police attitude during the funeral of Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Aqleh. However, in addition to examining the excessive use of force by the police, there should be a deep investigation into the instructions given by the Major General of Al-Quds Brigade Doron Turjman to the police officers to confiscate the Palestinian flags and prevent raising them during the funeral.

During the funeral, the police attempted to confiscate the Palestinian flags from the mourners. Residents of east Al-Quds, who stood in front of the police force, warned the people to take their flags down as they knew the "policy are arresting whoever carries a Palestinian flag."

It is not surprising that things got out of hand and descended into violence: if the police officers do perceive the act of flying the Palestinian flag as a criminal act, and those raising the flag are suspicious - things are expected to escalate.

Consequently, it is prohibited to blame the police officers and ignore the mission they were attached to. The real question that should be asked is: why is it banned to raise the Palestinian flag in the funeral of a journalist that was in her life and even after her death a national symbol?

In the recent years, the police adopted the policy of preventing the demonstrators from flying flags during demonstrations in Sheikh Jarrah; even though they practically formed no threat. In the Law Adviser's instructions to the Government, it has been determined to bring down the Palestinian flag only when there is "a fear of a high level of likelihood that the raising of the flag would seriously compromise the safety of the public".

Due to this backdrop, it must be investigated why Major General Amra Garva ordered the confiscation of Palestine's flag. Thus, what about if this order contradicts with the instructions of the Government's law advisor, indicating that the police has to examine every case as it is, and decide how risky it is.

Law Adviser Gali Beherb Miara should explain to the police that the carrying of the Palestinian flags are legal and protected by the freedom of expression. She must issue instructions to the police, from which it is clearly understood that flying a Palestinian flag is not a justification for a policeman's intervention and is not sufficient to indicate the intentions of endangering security.