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Boost for Palestinians as flag is raised at UNESCO

Boost for Palestinians as flag is raised at UNESCO
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It was an emotional Ramallah as Palestinians reacted to the raising of their flag above a United Nations building for the first time.

Taking that seat as a full member of the UN may be a long and painful way off but their colours are now above the cultural, education and science organisation in Paris.

“I hope that besides hoisting the Palestinian flag in UNESCO, it will be raised in Jerusalem, Haifa and Jaffa because all this land is ours. We are an indigenous nation which has lived and grown up in this land. The others are strangers and not us,” said Ramallah resident, Mostafa Atari.

In Gaza, the Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh called on the international community to stop what he said was its silence and to recognise the rights of the Palestinian people.

In Hebron, too, they were looking to the future.

“Today in Hebron we are looking forward to the step that will come after this recognition and also to this record of Palestinian flag-raising to put many other Palestinian cities on the map of the world,” said Walid Abu Alwhalawa, member of the Hebron Reconstruction.

Israel’s response to Tuesday’s ceremonies was that the symbolism in Hebron and other areas will not advance the Palestinian cause to gain statehood. Peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations said a government spokesman.