Berlin bans Palestinian keffiyeh scarves in schools

Police officers accompany a man wearing a Palestinian keffiyeh as they evacuate a demonstration in support of Palestinians, at Richardplatz, Neukoelln, Berlin. (Photo/AFP)

Berlin state authorities have banned the wearing of Palestinian keffiyeh scarves in schools, saying it could be a "threat to school peace."

“Any demonstrative behavior or expression of opinion that can be understood as advocating or approving the attacks against Israel or supporting the terrorist organisations that carry them out, such as Hamas or Hezbollah, represents a threat to school peace in the current situation and is prohibited,” Education Senator Katharina Guenther-Wuensch said in a letter to schools on Friday.

The official also outlawed “free Palestine” stickers with inscriptions, or a map of Israel in the colors of Palestine.

“Such actions and symbols endanger school peace in the current situation,” Guenther-Wuensch said.

Critics say the actions by the authorities violate constitutional rights, freedom of association, and the right to demonstrate.

"We will not be silenced"

Clashes are said to have taken place at schools in the German capital in recent days because of Israel’s massive bombing campaign on Palestine's Gaza.

Earlier this week, Initiative Palestine accused Berlin police of banning pro-Palestinian rallies "on racist grounds.”

"However, we will not be silenced. We will inform about upcoming steps to bring (the) Palestine (issue) to the streets of Berlin," the group said on its website.

Palestinian group Hamas launched Operation Al Aqsa Flood against Israel on Saturday, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.

In retaliation, the Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within Gaza.


Source: TRT