Israel-Hamas, protests: Does the Palestinian flag become illegal?
Waving a Palestinian flag on the streets of the United Kingdom after Hamas’ attack on Israel “may not be legal” if done to show support for acts of terrorism. The issue was raised in London by the British Home Secretary, Suella Braverman. She sent a letter to the heads of police in England and Wales, urging officers to use “the full force of the law” against demonstrations supporting Hamas. This comes after Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel. The issue is at risk of crossing the English Channel, at least in terms of debate, at a time when protests, sit-ins, and rallies continue without interruption in squares, schools, and universities.
London considers tightening measures
British Home Secretary Suella Braverman has expressed concerns about the display of Hamas logos and Palestinian flag during the ongoing conflict. She cites the devastating impact this could have on communities. She also highlighted the risk of using tensions in the Middle East to stir hatred against British Jews.
Braverman argued that targeting Jewish neighborhoods, waving symbols supporting Palestine or Hamas, and chanting anti-Israel slogans could be problematic in terms of public order. It is worth noting that Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization in the UK, EU, and the United States.
In a recent rally in Manchester, four arrests were made to prevent potential disruptions to an otherwise peaceful event, not on the grounds of supporting Palestine. The police acknowledged the emotional impact of the conflict and affirmed people’s right to express support for both Israel and Palestine.
Vienna bans demonstration
From England to Austria. The Vienna police have banned a pro-Palestinian demonstration due to the slogan “From the river to the sea” which was considered to incite violence. Gerhard Puerstl, the Chief of Police, explained that the slogan, adopted by Hamas, was a concern. The demonstration was expected to have around 200-250 participants. And was planned to start after a commemorative event for the victims and missing persons of a recent attack.
Sydney, canceled demonstration
In another part of the world, the Australian Premier of New South Wales, Chris Minns, had to cancel a ‘Free Palestine’ demonstration in Sydney.
This decision came after hundreds of protesters created chaos outside the Opera House, where a ceremony was being held to remember the victims of Hamas’ attack in Israel. During a press conference, Minns expressed that the organizers of the pro-Palestinian event exhibited non-peaceful behavior, as evidenced by the tumultuous scenes on Monday.
Protesters were heard chanting offensive slogans directed at Jews. Minns offered an apology to the Jewish community for being unable to provide a secure space for commemorating the victims of Hamas’ devastating attacks. He originally intended for the Opera House to serve as a venue for the Jewish community to reflect on the events in Israel.