The United Nations has approved a resolution calling for the hoisting of the Palestinian flag at the world body’s headquarters in New York.
On Thursday, the UN General Assembly decided that the flags of the non-member observer states of Palestine and the Holy See “shall be raised at (UN) Headquarters and United Nations Offices following the flags of the member states.”
As many as 119 countries voted in favor of the resolution, eight voted against, and 45 abstained.
The draft resolution of the Palestinian proposal was submitted to the General Assembly on August 27.
The resolution requested UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take “the measures necessary” for the implementation of the decision. The UN has 20 days to carry out the decision.
Based on the Thursday decision, delegations of the two nations can participate in the UN sessions.
Before the voting session, Palestinian Ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour touched upon the significance of the resolution, saying although symbolic, the measure gives “our people some hope that the international community is still supporting the independence of the state of Palestine.”
The United States and Israel had expressed their opposition to the measure, with US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner describing it as “counterproductive” and Israel’s envoy to the UN, Ron Prosor, dismissing it as “a blatant attempt to hijack the UN.”
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the besieged Gaza Strip, and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories. Israel, however, has refused to return to the 1967 borders and is unwilling to discuss the issue of al-Quds.
On November 29, 2012, the General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status at the UN from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel and the US.