A gay Israeli soldier recently unfurled an LGBTQ flag on Gaza soil – fulfilling his self-made vow to bring a rainbow flag to the fight against Hamas.
Yoav Atzmoni, 31, told The Post on Sunday that he posed for photos while in Gaza and held a rainbow flag that read “In the Name of Love” – defying the country’s strict anti-gay laws and imposed rhetoric territory.
The images began circulating online over the weekend as some social media users noted that the flag was a powerful statement given the oppression of LGBTQ people in the strip under Hamas rule.
Atzmoni Insider said Late last month, he hoped to display the Pride flag on his tank and bring it to Palestinians.
“I remember how important this flag was to me as a child,” he told the outlet.
The soldier told the Post he got his wish two weeks ago – when the photos of him making the rounds online were taken in Al-Atatra, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip.
Another photo he shared with Insider shows him in front of a tank with an Israeli flag that has rainbow colors at the top and bottom.
According to Insider, Atzmoni was called up to serve in the Israel Defense Forces following the Hamas terrorist attack against the Jewish state on October 7, which killed about 1,200 Israelis.
Since then, Israel has retaliated against Hamas and launched a military campaign that has killed thousands in Gaza.
Atzmoni told the media that he fears he will lose his hard-won rights if Hamas wins.
“I will not let them put me in my place again,” he said, emphasizing that the flag represents Israel’s support for the LGBTQ community.
Some anti-Israel protesters who call themselves “Queers for Palestine” have been mocked online given the oppressive lives LGBTQ people can experience in Gaza.
“To all anti-Israel LGBTQ activists, the IDF sends greetings from Gaza!” Israeli activist Yoseph Haddad tweeted.
LGBTQ Palestinians living under Hamas rule face “severe persecution and exclusion,” according to a 2022 UN Watch Report.
Men are also prohibited from engaging in same-sex activities, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years. according to the Human Dignity Trust. The laws date back to the British Mandatory Criminal Code of 1936 and still apply in Gaza today.
Israel, meanwhile, began recognizing same-sex marriages performed abroad in 2006 and allowed child adoption through surrogacy in 2020, Insider reported. However, same-sex couples in Israel cannot legally marry in the country.