Attorney General Yehuda Weinsten on Thursday ordered police to crack down on Israeli citizens who wave in public the flags of groups Israel has deemed to be terrorist.
Weinstein’s directive came following a request by Likud MK Miri Regev that he clarify the state’s policy regarding enforcement against those displaying the flags of terrorist organizations, such as the Islamic State, as well as that of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
While Weinstein issued a sweeping order against flags of some organizations, such as “Hamas, Hezbollah, etc.,” he dictated that while the PLO is still officially designated a terrorist organization, “in view of the change of relations between the PLO and Israel,” those who display the PLO flag would not be subject to prosecution, according to a letter circulated by Deputy Attorney General Raz Nazri.
However, in certain situations where the subjects were showing solidarity with terrorists, or the display of the PLO flag could disturb public peace, Nizri wrote, then law enforcement officials should remove the flags and prosecute individuals when appropriate.
The announcement came on the heels of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s designation of the Islamic State and al-Qaeda affiliate Abdallah Azzam Brigades as “illegal organizations.”
The move, recommended by the Shin Bet, enables Israel to act against the organizations by prohibiting gatherings, recruitment, fundraising and other activities.
On Wednesday night, Israel’s Channel 10 aired footage of what it said was an Islamic State rally on the Temple Mount.
And in May, participants in a Palestinian wedding procession in Jerusalem’s Old City with police authorization displayed the flags of Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaeda alongside those of the PLO, Walla news reported.