Earlier this month, the UN General Assembly passed a motion to raise the Palestinian and Vatican flags.
Commentators say there is a sense of growing frustration among many Palestinians over the paralysis in peace negotiations with Israel.
“Instead, he repeated his old threat to abandon signed accords with Israel ‘as long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements with us”, Toameh explained.
Despite his bold statements, a Ramallah-based analyst and former Abbas advisor Diana Buttu said they “will mean little in practical terms” unless Abbas “disbands the [Palestinian National Authority], stops cooperating with the Israeli Army, abandons the two-state framework, and/or pushes for Israel’s global isolation”.
During the flag-raising ceremony at 1:16 p.m., United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called it a “day of hope”.
The ceremony was attended by the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas. The Holy See and Palestine and are the only two United Nations observer states.
Abbas concluded by stating that his “hands remain outstretched for the just peace” that will guarantee Palestinians their rights and dignity.
The Palestinians campaigned for a General Assembly resolution, approved September 10, permitting United Nations observer states to fly their flags alongside those of member states.
Saying that the status quo can no longer continue, Abbas declared that Israel should consider itself obliged to fulfill all the responsibilities of an “occupying power” in the Palestinian territories. Both said at the time that symbolic moves like raising flags do nothing to move the peace process forward.
Writing in The World Post, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said: “The sense of pride among the Palestinian people was overwhelming the day the world voted in favour of this landmark initiative”. Officials said they were studying Mr. Abbas’s speech.
Dore Gold, Israel’s Foreign Ministry director, said in an interview reported in the New York Times, “Israel does uphold its agreements”.
The resolution was supported by 119 countries while there were 45 abstentions and eight votes against, including Australia, Israel and the United States. “We will not accept temporary solutions or a fragmented state“.
“Abu Mazen’s speech is deceitful and encourages incitement and destruction in the Middle East”, Netanyahu’s office said, referring to Abbas.