Palestinian flag raised at United Nations headquarters for first time

By Shawn Price   |   Updated Oct. 1, 2015 at 8:04 AM
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NEW YORK, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- The Palestinian flag was raised Wednesday for the first time at the United Nations, despite condemnation from Israel and the United States.

In the Rose Garden, just outside the U.N. building in New York, the Palestinian flag was raised at 1:16 p.m., with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declaring it "day of pride for the Palestinian people around the world" and a "day of hope."

"May the raising of this flag give rise to the hope among the Palestinians and the international community that Palestinian statehood is achievable," Ban said.

The ceremony came shortly after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the organization's General Assembly the Palestinian Authority was no longer bound by the Oslo Peace Accords.

In his speech, Abbas said his region was a "state under occupation," accusing Israel of not being committed to the accords, either.

"They leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements, while Israel continuously violates them," he said.

The Oslo Peace Accords were negotiated and signed in 1993 by Israel and the Palestinians.

After the brief ceremony, the flag was taken down and moved to the last flag pole in front of U.N. headquarters, next to the flag of the Vatican.

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