Flags of ISIS, Hamas, and Hezbollah are banned, and those who fly them can be charged - but PLO flags are OK the Attorney General said.
by Moshe Cohen
Israeli citizens who wave the flags or display other symbols associated with ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah, or other terror organizations, will be subject to arrest and prosecution, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has decided. A report in Yisrael Hayom quoted a letter sent by Weinstein's aides to members of the Justice Ministry staff.
The letter says that, according to Weinstein's opinion, the state is on clear legal grounds to persecute such actions. “The Palestine Liberation Organization 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 was 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 said. “With that, there is no overall protection for flying the flag of terror groups, which is still a crime.” That law, the letter said, needed to be enforced against groups that practice terrorism, including ISIS, Hezbollah, and Hamas.
“When such flags and symbols are displayed police must judge if there is a possibility of public disorder or disturbance, or of danger to the public. If there is, police should take steps to remove the flags. In appropriate cases, charges may be made against perpetrators,” the letter added.
While the PLO flag could fly, the letter said, action should be taken as quickly and forcefully as possible against the flags of other terror groups, the letter said. “We have recently distributed these instructions to police and security officials and expect them to act according to these principles,” it added.
Flags of Hezbollah and Hamas are often seen at protests in Arab towns and especially on the Temple Mount. Such displays, said Jewish residents and visitors in areas where these protests occur, are often accompanied by rock throwing and other attacks.