Israeli suppressive hand has been active during the recent months to suffocate Palestinian voices using Palestinian Flags to enhance solidarity.
Shireen Abu Akleh, the Palestinian-American journalist, was killed 11 days ago while documenting an Israeli operation at the Jenin refugee center. Soon after that, grieving families flocked to the family house in East Jerusalem after the event in northern West Bank.
The family of Abu Akleh decked entryway with flags of Palestine as crowds poured through the gate to pledge allegiance. At the location, images of the seasoned Al Jazeera reporter were also outstanding.
Companions played Palestinian patriotic music holding the flag everywhere. Israeli cops came at the Abu Akleh residence in Beit Hanina sooner than later. They ordered the removal of the flags, turning off the nationalist music, and a termination to the nationalist slogans. Israeli soldiers enforced identical orders much more aggressively in less than 48 hours.
Mourning people congregated outside the Hospital to say their final goodbyes to their favorite reporter. Hundreds of Israeli police officers assaulted the burial procession with truncheons and rubber shots in retaliation. The pallbearers were attacked by police as they tried to avoid the corpse, covered in Palestinian flags, from downfall.
“No matter how hard they beat us, we had to keep that coffin from falling. It became a symbol of our dignity and lives. If Shireen’s casket fell, we would, too,” said one of the participants at the funeral procession to the reporters. “There was so much hatred and violence … like nothing I’ve ever experienced.”
According to Israeli media, Jerusalem’s police commander has instructed his men to prohibit Palestinians from waving flags. All flags flown during the burial should have been seized, according to the order. Israel clearly understands such practices could promote the efforts for Palestinian solidarity.
A Flag of Palestinian Solidarity
Just days later, during Walid al-Sharif’s burial, same images of horror played out. The young Palestinian guy died from wounds inflicted at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in April.
Israeli police once again pushed amid the grieving, seizing Palestinian flags and assaulting individuals. Palestinian sources confirmed that over 70 Palestinians received injuries.
A Jerusalem District Court judgement in 2020 announced that displaying the Palestinian flag is not a felony act in Israel. Despite that, Israeli troops have kept up with the confiscation practice and attacking their holders.
After a demonstrator was hurt and four others were detained for raising flag, the judge issued the verdict. It happened during a rally in the Sheikh Jarrah area of occupied East Jerusalem. The area has been a hotspot in a seven-decade conflict between Palestinian people and Israeli officials. The major goal in Sheikh Jarrah remains for the Israelis to evict Palestinian people from their ancestral houses.
When raising Palestinian flags across the Palestinian lands, people have frequently claimed being attacked. They’ve also seen an uptick in Israeli attempts to seize Palestinian flags.
“Because of the extreme Israeli reaction to waving a flag, Palestinian youth – my sons included – have taken it upon themselves to continue to raise it at every opportunity,” says a Palestinian woman.
The Israeli assault against Palestinian culture and organisations has a history of over twenty years. Thousands attended the burial of prominent Palestinian leader Faisal Husseini back in 2001, holding the Palestinian flags, yet there was no violent response.
Things began to shift immediately after his burial service. The Orient House, the political center of Palestinian community in East Jerusalem, was demolished by Israeli troops. Husseini founded the site, which has since turned into an emblem of Palestinian tradition and history during the years.
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