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Bill prohibiting raising of Palestinian flag approved by Knesset in preliminary reading

Jerusalem24 – The General Assembly of the Israeli Knesset approved on Wednesday evening in a preliminary reading a bill that would outlaw the display of enemy flags, including the Palestinian flag, at state-funded institutions including universities.

The bill was submitted by MK Eli Cohen from the opposition Likud party. It was approved by the Knesset with 63 votes in favor and 16 against, with lawmakers from the coalition’s right-wing New Hope and Yamina parties voting with opposition MKs.

During the session, Cohen shouted at members of the Arab Joint List who opposed the bill, telling them to “go to Gaza or Jordan.”

The raising of the Palestinian flag at Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Universities in Beersheba during events organized by Palestinian students on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the Nakba angered Israeli right-wing parties within the government coalition and in the opposition, with members of the Knesset making racist and extremist statements against Palestinians.

Member of Likud and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz said on Twitter on 24 May: “Yesterday I warned the Arab students waving Palestinian flags at universities: Remember 48. Remember our War of Independence and your Nakba. […] if you do not calm down we will teach you a lesson that will not be forgotten.”

Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman tweeted ahead of yesterday’s vote, “In our state there is only room for one flag – the flag of Israel.”

The bill must still pass two more readings to become law.

Mohammad Hamayel

Ramallah based journalist, Mohammad graduated from Al-Quds University with a B.A. in Media and Television. He has covered the 2015 Jerusalem Intifada as well as the Great March of Return for international media outlets. currently an editor/presenter at Jerusalem24. A UN alumni and a follower of global events and politics, especially American affairs.

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