Israel Urges U.N. to Reject Palestinian Flag-Raising Ploy

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -
The flags of member nations (including Israel, center) flying outside of the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
The flags of member nations (including Israel, center) flying outside of the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

Israel on Tuesday urged U.N. leaders to reject a Palestinian attempt to raise their flag at U.N. headquarters as early as next month’s gathering of world leaders there.

Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor accused the Palestinians in letters to the United Nations secretary-general and General Assembly president of “attempting to swiftly change longstanding U.N. tradition in order to score political points.”

Prosor’s letter called the flag-raising effort a “blatant attempt to hijack the U.N.,” adding, “As the gatekeeper of this institution, I call on you to reject this aggressive behavior.”

The flags of all 193 U.N. member states fly outside U.N. headquarters in New York and other U.N. offices — but not the flags of the two non-member observer states, Palestine and the Vatican.

The Palestinians are seeking General Assembly approval of a draft resolution that would allow non-member observer states to raise their flags.

A General Assembly spokeswoman said a date for a vote on the draft resolution has not been set.

Last week, the Vatican’s mission to the U.N. disavowed reports that it supported the Palestinian initiative, circulating a note among member states saying it was not co-sponsoring the draft.