Occupied Jerusalem, ALRAY - Israeli Knesset passed a preliminary reading of a law on Wednesday, that prohibits the collective raising of the Palestinian flag, along with suppressing protests, conducting arrests, and imposing prison sentences on demonstrators who raise the Palestinian flag.
The proposed law presented by Knesset member Almog Cohen of the Otzma Yehudit party was supported by 54 Knesset members, while 16 Knesset members opposed it.
The law, if passed through the three readings, prohibits any gathering or demonstration in which the Palestinian flag or "hostile flags" are raised by at least three individuals. It allows for arrests and imposes imprisonment penalties on anyone raising the Palestinian flag.
In addition to banning protests where the Palestinian flag is raised by at least three demonstrators, the proposed law includes imposing imprisonment penalties of up to one year. It also grants the police the authority to disperse such protests and make arrests.
Jerusalem, especially its Old City, has turned into a military fortress and a nightmare for its residents and its blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque on the eve of the Israeli Flag March. The city witnesses an unprecedented Israeli alertness and strict discriminatory measures, suffocating the people of Jerusalem and crippling their lives.
The Israeli occupation police have raised their alert level and mobilized their forces, turning the Old City, the area around the Damascus Gate, and the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque into a military fortress to secure the provocative march. There are concerns about the escalation of the situation.
Approximately 3,000 members of the Israeli occupation police are expected to participate in securing the settler march, which is held annually on the anniversary of the so-called "Jerusalem Day," commemorating the occupation of the eastern part of the city in 1967.