Italy MPs wave Palestinian flag in parliament during discussion on Middle East crisis

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Several MPs from Italy’s opposition Five Star Movement brandished Palestinian flags in parliament on Tuesday during a discussion on the Middle East crisis.

They raised five flags and a peace flag in the lower Chamber of Deputies as their colleague Riccardo Ricciardi was speaking, calling on Italy to recognize the state of Palestine.

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“We must never be afraid to recognize a community’s chance to rally around a flag,” Ricciardi said.

He condemned the “double standards” of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s hard-right government for expressing support for a two-state solution for the Palestinians and Israelis, but abstaining on a UN resolution earlier this month on full Palestinian membership in the global body.

The Chamber’s presiding officer reminded MPs that partisan symbols are not allowed inside, and the Five Star MPs handed over the flags to the parliamentary officials after a few seconds.

There was no immediate sanction, but a spokesman for the chamber told AFP that the speaker’s office would look into the case.

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France’s parliament on Tuesday suspended a left-wing lawmaker for two weeks for holding up a Palestinian flag in a heated debate on whether Paris should recognize Palestinian statehood.

Norway, Spain and Ireland have recognized the Palestinian state, but Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Saturday that such initiatives were “not useful” for resolving the conflict.

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