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Waving Palestinian flag could be a criminal offence, UK home secretary warns

Demonstrators take part in a 'Stand with Palestine' rally in London on October 9, 2023. (Photo by AFP)eal

In yet another instance of the West’s unflinching support for the occupying Israeli regime, the British government has urged the police to consider whether waving a Palestinian flag could be a criminal offense.

In a letter on Tuesday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman urged the UK police forces to be alert for displays of Hamas flags or logos or other demonstrations of support for the Palestinian resistance group, following calls by senior figures for people deemed to have expressed pro-Palestine support to be prosecuted.

Braverman also called on police to consider the context in which Palestinian flags are waved to assess whether public order offenses of harassment or incitement may have been committed.

“Behaviors that are legitimate in some circumstances, for example, the waving of a Palestinian flag, may not be legitimate such as when intended to glorify acts of terrorism,” she wrote.

The popular resistance movement of Hamas was designated as a “terrorist” organization by the UK government in 2021.

Braverman also encouraged police chiefs to consider whether chants like “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” should be “understood as an expression of a violent desire to see Israel erased from the world” and therefore a public order offense.

Earlier in the day, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak accused Hamas of “barbaric acts of terrorism,” and said anyone in the UK supporting the resistance group would be held accountable.

The Western governments, namely the US, Britain, Germany and France, have offered “steadfast support” to Israel amid the regime’s incessant bombing of the besieged Gaza Strip over the past few days.

Israel launched deadly strikes on the coastal area on Saturday after the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement waged a surprise attack, dubbed Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, against the occupying regime.

Hamas said that its operation came in response to Israel’s violations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East al-Quds and growing settler violence.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least 950 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes so far. More than 260,000 people have also been displaced in Gaza, with over 175,000 taking shelter in 88 UN schools.

Rights groups and international organizations have unanimously criticized the Israeli regime for its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza and its siege on the territory which has left people without water, electricity and other basic supplies.

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