Israeli Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has instructed law enforcement agencies in Israel to file criminal charges against individuals waving terrorist groups’ flags in public.
The directive applies to flags representing Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamic State, among other groups, but it does not apply to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flag.
The latter distinction was made in a memorandum sent by Deputy Attorney-General for Criminal Affairs Raz Nizri to Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chairwoman MK Miri Regev (Likud), according to Israel Hayom.
“The Palestine Liberation Organization was designated as a terrorist group many years ago, and since its status has never been revised waving PLO flags in public constitutes an alleged criminal offense. However, given the change in the [diplomatic] relations between the State of Israel and the PLO, the Attorney-General’s Office had, years ago, issued a directives by which individuals waving PLO flags under the appropriate circumstances will not face criminal charges,” Nizri wrote.
The situation “is different when it comes to the flags of other organizations that have been designated as terrorist groups,” such as Hamas and Hezbollah, Nizri explained.
“Such cases are not characterized by the same diplomatic complexities attributed to the PLO flag, and therefore the policy in such cases is to have the flags removed, and when the circumstances so warrant, pursue a criminal indictment,” wrote Nizri.