ISIS Flags in Galilee: Govt. Must 'Pay Attention'

ISIS flag incident hurts reputation of city striving to become 'Jewish capital of Galilee,' says mayor Alex Gadalkin.

Tova Dvorin and Benny Toker ,

A fighter of the Islamic State (ISIS)
A fighter of the Islamic State (ISIS)

The mayor of Nazareth Illit, Alex Gadalkin, spoke to Arutz Sheva about the trove of Islamic State (ISIS) flags found in his city earlier this week, noting that he hopes the incident will soon be resolved - and forgotten. 

"We hope that security forces quickly find who did it, and that we can put this incident behind us," Gadalkin stated Tuesday morning. "It is not pleasant to wake up and see the morning begin with the name 'Nazareth Illit' associated with such an event."

On Monday morning, city employees found a bag of roughly 25 small flags bearing the logo and inscription of the brutal terror organization on the side of a major road. 

Police have launched an investigation into the incident, which surfaces amid ISIS 'hysteria' in Israel. 

Israeli Arab communities have flown ISIS flags; likewise, two Israeli Arabs have been arrested for being involved with the group - one for possessing propaganda and one for physically fighting for ISIS in Syria. 

Nazareth Illit: 'Jewish Capital of the Galilee'?

Gadalkin's concern over the ISIS flag incident is less of an issue of security than an issue of image, however, as he is striving to make it the "Jewish capital of the Galilee." 

"This is a city that is developing," Gedeklin stated. "It should be the Jewish capital of the Galilee, and we are trying to promote many projects, including the construction of a new neighborhood." 

He said that despite the efforts, not all ministers have responded to his requests for help. "Sometimes we run into closed doors," he lamented. "It is important that the government pay attention to what's going on in the Galilee."

"They speak a lot about building up the center of the country, but to tell the truth: Jews are a minority here," he said. "I have knocked on a lot of doors. Some ministers are eager to help, some not - some don't even know where Nazareth Illit is."

Nazareth Illit has become something of a focal point for tensions between Jews and Israeli Arabs over the past year.

Gedeklin has clashed with local Arab mayors before over raucously loud muezzin (prayer siren) calls from nearby Muslim villages, especially on Israel's Memorial Day

More recently, the city has become known for being the residency of 17-year-old Israeli Arab teen Mohammed Zoabi, the cousin of anti-Israel MK Hanin Zoabi (Balad), who spoke out against the murderers of Israeli teens Naftali Frankel (16), Eyal Yifrah (19), and Gilad Sha'ar (16), hy"d.

Zoabi, who already attended a Jewish school due to his views, was eventually forced to leave his home due to threats to his life for his loyalties.