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The Israeli government’s new security minister has directed law enforcement to ban Palestinian flags from flying in public areas. New Israeli cabinet member Itamar Ben-Gvir took office last month.

The new Israeli government is a more extreme anti-Palestinian organization than past governments. The ban on Palestinian flags in public is just one step taken by the new administration.

“Today I directed the Israel police to enforce the prohibition of flying any PLO flag that shows identification with a terrorist organization from the public sphere and to stop any incitement against the State of Israel,” Ben-Gvir announced on Twitter.

Palestinian supporters recently requested that the United Nations’ highest judicial court examine human rights violations by Israeli governments’. Israel has occupied the West Bank for over 50 years. 

In response, the Israeli government has expanded its reach against Palestinians and Palestinian supporters. It has withheld nearly $40m in tax revenues, stating it would transfer the money to victims of Palestinian militant attacks against Israeli citizens.

Meanwhile, the Israeli government views the Palestinian flag as a nod to past militant organizations. Palestinians claim the flag is simply a display of support for Palestinians.  

Far-right Israeli government takes aim at Palestinians

Security minister Ben-Gvir is well known for his anti-Palestinian rhetoric. He drew widespread condemnation last month when visiting holy sites in Jerusalem. 

Israel and Palestine have been in conflict for decades, since the creation of Israel in 1948. Today, Palestinians comprise 20% of the country.

Recently, tensions between the Israeli government and Palestine have increased. 2022 saw the deadliest year in the historic conflict, with a heavily lop-sided death toll among Palestinians. News of the ban also comes after Palestinians have urged the international community investigate the death of Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot and killed by Israeli forces despite wearing a visible press identification.

Many Palestinians have become citizens, but the Israeli government views them with skepticism. Palestinian advocates tout their support for Palestinian safe spaces in areas captured by Israel during the Six Days War in 1967.  

Benjamin Netanyahu’s new far-right government believes that Palestinians have embraced an extreme anti-Israel offensive. Requesting support from the United Nations is just one factor in Palestinians’ advocacy for statehood and rights in Israel.  

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...