Currently, only member states' flags fly at UN headquarters. Even though the United Nations approved the de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine in 2012, a Palestinian attempt to secure full UN membership failed, leaving it officially as a non-member state.
Now, Palestine has proposed a resolution that would allow flags of non-member states to “be raised at the United Nations Headquarters and Offices following the flags of the member states of the United Nations."
The General Assembly is expected to vote on the resolution on September 10.
Israel's UN Ambassador Ron Prosor wrote a letter of complaint about the initiative to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and this year's president of the General Assembly, Sam Kutesa of Uganda, Reuters reported.
Over the past 70 years, the United Nations has raised only flags of full member states, Prosor said, adding that the Palestinians have not held a round of consultations on their resolution. He called the move "another cynical misuse of the UN by the Palestinian Authority."
"Once again the Palestinians prefer to score easy and meaningless points at the UN, simply because they can. It's time to unequivocally tell them: this is not the path to statehood, this is not the way for peace," he said.
He also accused the Palestinians, who he said appear to already have enough votes for their resolution to pass, of misleading UN member states by pretending that it was a joint initiative with the Vatican, the only other non-member state, Reuters reported.
Last week, the Vatican said it would not co-sponsor the resolution and demanded that all references to it be removed from the draft.
Days later, the Vatican said it did not object to the Palestinian initiative, but it was content with the status quo – a statement Proser said was issued under pressure from the Palestinian and Arab delegations, Reuters reported.