Israeli so-called National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir goes ahead with provocative policies against Palestinians, turning his back on the stances announced by Muslim and Arab countries who widely condemned his visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque last week.

Ben Gvir, leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, ordered police to tear down Palestinian flags from any public place as of Sunday.

He said in a statement from his office that he had ordered Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai to implement the new policy, a measure that is seen by Israeli media as “liable to increase friction between police” and Palestinian people.

“Minister Ben Gvir sent the police commissioner’s office an order stating that all police officers of any rank are authorized in the course of police work to pull down flags of the Palestinian Authority,” the statement read, as cited by the Times of Israel.

Ben Gvir Summons Police Commissioner The announcement came hours after the right-wing minister summoned the commissioner Shabtai for a dressing down over public celebrations were held upon the release of the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner Karim Younes after serving for 40 years in Israeli jails.

During the celebration Younes waved a Palestinian flag.

Ben Gvir Kobi Shabtai
Ben Gvir (left) and Chief of Police Kobi Shabtai at a committee meeting in the Knesset (December 14, 2022). Ben Gvir had ordered police to prevent public celebrations in the town of Ara, claiming that such celebrations “offer support for terrorism.” “It can’t be that lawbreakers wave terror flags, incite and support terror, and therefore I have ordered that terror-supporting flags be removed from the public space,” Ben Gvir said in the statement Sunday.

The order on Sunday was the first implicit rebuke of occupation police by the new far-right minister, who demanded and received extensive powers over police policy during recent coalition negotiations.

Ben Gvir, a far-right firebrand, has been a critic of Israeli occupation police measures against Palestinians, considering the approach of the Israeli enforcement law as too soft.

Restrictions on MKs Visits to Palestinian Prisoners Earlier on Sunday, Ben Gvir announced that he plans to cancel regulations that allow any Israeli lawmaker to meet with Palestinian prisoners, or so-called security prisoners.

Palestinian female prisoner
Palestinian woman at Israeli jail (photo from archive). In a statement, Ben Gvir said he had informed Knesset Speaker Amir Ohana that he intends to return to an older protocol, according to which only one lawmaker from each faction will be allowed to visit prisoners.

Those visits would be held under “appropriate supervision,” the statement read as cited by Israeli media.

“I believe that meetings between Knesset lawmakers and security prisoners can give those prisoners a boost, which may lead to incitement and the promotion of terrorist propaganda,” the far-right minister said.

Last week, Ben Gvir himself visited the recently renovated high-security Nafha Prison to review holding conditions for Palestinian prisoners, and to “check that they had not been improved.” From time to time, Arab MKs visit Palestinian prisoners to check on their condition, especially those who have called a hunger strike.

According to Palestinian figures, some 4,700 Palestinians are imprisoned in Israel, including 29 female prisoners, 150 minors, some 850 administrative detainees, 15 journalists and five lawmakers.

The far-right politician was appointed as the so-called national security minister under a coalition deal with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, in what is seen as t the most right-wing government in the Zionist entity's history.

Ben-Gvir, who was convicted in 2007 of racist incitement against Palestinians, called for expanded security portfolio that includes responsibility for occupation Border Police in the occupied West Bank.

Original Article Source: Al Manar | Published on Monday, 09 January 2023 12:06 (about 498 days ago)