The PLO flag flew in Washington, DC for the first time Tuesday, with PLO officials hoisting their banner over their United States mission.
Chief of Mission Maen Areikat praised U.S. officials for allowing the flag to go up. “I think it indicates the willingness of the American administration to deal with the realities on the ground,” he said.
“It’s about time that this flag that symbolizes the struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination and statehood be raised in the United States,” Areikat stated.
The Obama administration’s willingness to allow the flag to go up was met with criticism from Republican representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Raising this flag in DC is part of the Palestinian leadership’s scheme to manipulate international acceptance and diplomatic recognition of a yet-to-be-created Palestinian state while refusing to directly negotiate with Israel or accept the existence of Israel as a democratic, Jewish state,” she said.
The PA has been working to convince the international community to recognize a new Arab state in all the territory between the 1948 armistice line and Jordan, in an attempt to circumvent talks with Israel. Israeli leaders have repeatedly rejected the PA’s demand for all land east of the armistice line, saying that Israel plans to keep control of Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria, and of Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.
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