Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas kisses a Palestinian flag before raising it during United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in Manhattan, New York September 30, 2015.
With prospects for Middle East peace looking increasingly thin, Palestinian diplomats and officials cheered and applauded on Wednesday as their national flag flew for the first time at United Nations headquarters in New York.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas officiated at the ceremony minutes after delivering a speech to the UN General Assembly in which he accused Israel of sabotaging efforts by the United States to broker a peace deal. Israel objected to the remarks.
Standing under the distinctive red, white, green and black banner in the UN headquarters’ flower garden, Abbas said: “The day for raising this flag will come soon in Jerusalem, the capital of our Palestinian state,” and “This day, every year, 30 September, will be the day of the Palestinian flag.”
The Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of an independent Palestine.
On a grey, cloudy day on the banks of Manhattan’s East River, a slight breeze was not enough to make the flag flutter once it was up.
The muggy air was pierced by the distinctive sound of ululation when several onlookers in the audience belted out the wavering, high-pitched trilling sound.