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UN flying Palestine flag facilitates statehood: PM

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
The photo dated August 30, 2015 shows a Palestinian flag on top of a building in the occupied East al-Quds and the Dome of the Rock in the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the background. (AFP photo)

The Palestinian prime minister hopes a yes vote in the United Nations General Assembly on raising the nation’s flag over the UN headquarters helps it obtain the long-anticipated status of a full member state.

Rami Hamdallah said Thursday that if the 193-nation UN adopts the draft resolution on Palestinian flag-raising later in the day, it would mark "a step on the road towards Palestine becoming a full member of the United Nations."

Diplomats expect with almost certainty that the vote at 19.00 GMT will obtain a majority in the General Assembly despite fierce opposition from both Israel and the United States.

The yes vote would give the UN 20 days to raise the Palestinian flag in New York, where Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to pay a visit on September 30.

Hamdallah, who was speaking to reporters after a meeting with his French counterpart Manuel Valls in Paris, said that the Palestinian Authority has no plans to resume talks with Israel as the Tel Aviv regime is continuing to expand its settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah (L) and French Prime Minister Manuel Valls give a press conference following a meeting on September 10, 2015 in Paris.  (AFP photo)

“The most important thing is that settlement building must stop. All of the agreements that we have signed with Israel foresaw the end of settlement building, but in fact it is extending further and further...,” he said, adding, “We do not want to negotiate for the sake of it. If there are negotiations, we want them to have a framework,” 

The negotiations fell apart in April last year after the US announced the failure of its diplomatic efforts in mediating the talks. That was followed by Israel’s brutal aggression against Gaza in summer which killed more than 2,300 people in the besieged enclave.

Hamdallah also said that he had urged France to join some other European countries and recognize the Palestinian state. Paris has yet to decide on the issue. 

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