Palestinian flag flies over the UN HQ

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SHAFAQNA - Palestine’s flag will fly at the United Nations headquarters after the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a Palestinian resolution, infuriating Israel with a move that Palestinians described as a step toward UN membership.

There were 119 votes in favour out of 193 UN members.

The United States and Israel were among eight countries that voted against the Palestinian-drafted resolution, which says the flags of non-member observer states like Palestine “shall be raised at UN Headquarters in New York and United Nations Offices following the flags of the member states.”

Most of the 28-nation European Union were among the 45 nations that abstained from voting. 

However, France and more than half a dozen others voted in favour of the Palestinian resolution after the EU split on the issue.

“It’s a step to the recognition of Palestine as a full member state of the United Nations,” Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah told reporters in Paris earlier on Thursday.

The only other non-member observer state is the Vatican, which reacted coolly when the Palestinians first circulated their draft resolution last month.

The Palestinians initially presented their initiative as a joint effort with the Holy See, but the Vatican said it would not co-sponsor the resolution and requested that its name be removed from the text.

The Vatican said on Wednesday it had not decided whether to fly its flag next to the Palestinians’, should the resolution pass.

The resolution says observer states’ flags will be flown within 20 days. 

Palestinian diplomats say they expect their flag to be raised on 30 September, the day Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses world leaders at the annual gathering of the UN General Assembly.

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