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Palestine welcomes vote to fly flag at UN headquarters

Palestinians today welcomed the UN General Assembly's decision to raise the flag of Palestine at the UN headquarters.

Yesterday's resolution garnered a majority in the 193-member forum, with 119 nations voting yes, 45 abstaining and eight countries, including Israel, the US, Australia and Canada, voting no.

"The Palestinian people are grateful to the countries that have agreed to stand by the side of our right and just cause," Abbas said. "The Palestinian struggle will continue until we raise the Palestinian flag over our eternal capital, Jerusalem."

The symbolic move comes as Palestinians step up efforts for international recognition of their statehood, despite fierce opposition from Israel and its allies.

The resolution states that flags of UN non-member observer states shall be raised at the UN headquarters alongside those of member states. It will go into effect within 20 days.

The state of Palestine and the Vatican are the only non-member observer states at the UN.

In Paris, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah called the vote "an important step towards the recognition of Palestine as a full member state in the United Nations."

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki said the UN General Assembly's decision was a historical moment for the Palestinian people.

"The countries that voted in favour of Palestine are in line with their principles and send messages of hope to our people," he said. "These countries stress their support for the two-state solution, while Israel and its allies work to undermine it."

The state of Palestine has been recognised by 136 nations.

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