The United Nations General Assembly is scheduled to vote on a draft resolution which would allow the Palestinian flag to be raised at the world body’s headquarters in New York.
Later on Thursday, the UN will pass its judgment on the draft resolution submitted by Palestine that calls for the flags of non-member observer states, including Palestine itself, to “be raised at (UN) Headquarters and United Nations Offices following the flags of the member states of the United Nations.”
Reports say the resolution will likely be ratified as members of the Non-Aligned Movement, the largest bloc of the assembly, support the Palestinian cause.
Before the voting session, Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour touched upon the importance 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.”
“Things are bleak, gloomy, the political process is dead, Gaza is being suffocated. This flag resolution is like the small light of a candle to keep hope alive for the Palestinian people,” he noted, adding it is “another step to solidify the pillars of the state of Palestine in the international arena.”
This is while Washington and Tel Aviv have expressed their opposition to the measure, with US State Department 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 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 193-member General Assembly voted to upgrade Palestine’s status to non-member observer state. The Vatican welcomed the vote at the time.