Abbas Praises UN Vote to Raise PA Flag Over Headquarters

September 11, 2015  

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas on Friday praised the countries which sided with “justice” by voting for the PA to be allowed to raise their flag at United Nations headquarters.

The UN General Assembly, by a two-thirds vote, adopted a resolution on Thursday allowing the flags of the PA and the Vatican – both of which have non-member observer status – to be hoisted alongside those of member states.

Abbas paid tribute to the countries which approved the resolution saying “they have placed themselves on the side of right and justice”, the official PA news agency Wafa reported.

“The struggle will continue until the Palestinian flag flies over our eternal capital, occupied Jerusalem,” said Abbas.

The flag is expected to be hoisted ahead of a September 30 visit by Abbas to address the UN General Assembly – which upgraded the status of the PA to that of non-member observer in November 2012.

Thursday’s resolution was adopted by 119 members while eight – including Israel and the United States – voted against and 49 abstained.

Israel’s UN ambassador, Ron Prosor, criticized the decision saying “it will not help the Palestinian people” and insisting the “only way to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations.”

“In my time here, I have seen the Palestinians use and abuse the UN, time and again. The sad part is: that you allow them to get away with it. You must make it clear to the Palestinians that the only way to achieve statehood is through direct negotiations,” he said.

“As long as the Palestinians believe they can achieve their political goals without making concessions, they will continue to avoid taking the difficult decisions needed for peace,” added Prosor.

“The real question we face today is not whether the Palestinians will raise a flag, but whether the UN will raise a white flag, and surrender the principles of this institution,” he continued.

The latest round of US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in April 2014.

AFP contributed to this report.

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