The attorney general on Wednesday reiterated Israel’s ban on flying the flag of terrorist organizations. It is against the law to fly a flag from the Hezbollah, Hamas or Islamic State terrorist organizations. For that matter, it’s also against the law to fly the flag of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as well.
It’s a practice often seen at rallies and demonstrations held at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City on Fridays and elsewhere when things are heating up and Arab leaders are deliberately agitating to stir up a peaceful crowd into a rioting mob against Israel.
Some slack has been allowed in recent years, however, particularly in cases of flying the flag of the Palestinian Authority and the PLO. The ruling was transmitted in a letter Wednesday by aides in the office of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to staff members in the Justice Ministry.
In Weinstein’s opinion, “The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was declared a terror organization many years ago and that designation has never been changed. Technically, flying the PLO flag is a crime, as that ws legislated when the PLO was declared a terror group.
“Given the new relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which represents the PLO, the Attorney General has for many years overlooked the criminal aspects of flying the PLO flag, and no one is persecuted for this anymore,” the letter states.
“With that, there is no overall protection for flying the flag of terror groups, which is still a crime.”
The law against flying the flag of terrorist organizations, the letter states, must still be enforced against other terror groups, including the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), Hezbollah and Hamas.
“When such flags and symbols are displayed police must judge whether there is a possibility of public disorder or disturbance, or danger to the public. If there is, police should take steps to remove the flags,” the letter continues.
“In appropriate cases, charges may be made against perpetrators.
“We have recently distributed these instructions to police and security officials and expect them to act in accordance with these principles.”
About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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