UPDATE: Palestinian flag RIPPED DOWN from Tower Hamlets Town Hall

PUBLISHED: 16:44 30 July 2014 | UPDATED: 16:02 31 July 2014

Lutfur Rahman's tweet

Lutfur Rahman's tweet

Lutfur Rahman/Twitter

The Palestinian flag has been ripped down from Tower Hamlets Town Hall after Mayor Lutfur Rahman’s controversial decision to fly it.

Palestinian flag... now vanished from Tower Hamlets town yhallPalestinian flag... now vanished from Tower Hamlets town yhall

The flag was erected on Wednesday but has already been taken down in what the council are branding “an act of perceived vandalism”. It is not yet known who removed the flag.

Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman ordered the Palestinian flag to be flown from the Town Hall. Tweeting this pictureon Weds 30 July, he said: “Palestinian flag flying at Town Hall in solidarity with #Gaza and in support of a ceasefire & peace.”

The council said they raised the flag “as a humanitarian gesture of solidarity with the victims of the Gaza crisis.”

Tower Hamlets is the first London council to fly the flag and the third across the country, following suit from Preston and Bradford.

In a statement, Mayor Rahman said: “We are flying the Palestinian flag over the town hall as a humanitarian gesture of our solidarity with the people of Gaza.

“In addition to the current military onslaught, the blockade of Gaza is causing a humanitarian catastrophe. Over 1,000 people have been killed, most of them women and children. An urgent aid corridor needs to be opened to allow those injured to receive treatment and medical care.

“We mourn the loss of life in this tragic conflict. We call on our Prime Minister to help create a lasting peace that breaks the cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and prevents any further loss of innocent lives.”

Mayor Rahman also asked for his ‘peace flag’ to be raised and called for a lasting ceasefire.

The flying of the flag has been a controversial move for local authorities across the country.

Birmingham City Council refused to fly it while Preston Council were ridiculed for releasing a statement saying they wouldn’t fly it but then doing the opposite just moments later.

Reaction was mixed on Twitter to Mayor Rahman’s move.

Syed Haque said: “Very good to see you are doing something. I wish others had your courage and the willingness to show it.”

However Jim Connolly tweeted: “My local mayor @MayorLutfur flies Palestinian flag above town hall. Not sure how that helps cohesion in the area... #TowerHamlets.”

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