The Palestinians raised their flag at the United Nations for the first time on Wednesday, a symbolic gesture approved by a General Assembly vote at the world body earlier this month.
The red, black, white and green Palestinian flag was erected around 1:15 pm in the rose garden of the U.N. headquarters.
“In this historical moment, I say to my people everywhere: raise the flag of Palestinians very high because it is the symbol of our identity,” Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas told a huge crowd. “It is a proud day.”
Women used to buy the colors of the Palestinian flag and sew the flag secretly for protests because they could be arrested. #PalestineFlag— مريم البرغوثي (@MariamBarghouti) October 1, 2015
Ominous dark clouds gathered in the sky, threatening to mar with rain an occasion condemned by Israel and the United States as a gesture that would not serve the cause of peace.
The General Assembly voted on September 10 to allow the flags of Palestine and the Vatican - both have observer status - to be raised at the world body alongside those of member states.
The resolution was backed by 119 countries, with 45 abstentions and eight votes against, including Australia, Israel and the United States.
Abbas: Palestine deserves full recognition
Flag raising and state recognitions provide opportunities for empty gestures instead of real actions against Israel.— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) September 30, 2015
Meanwhile, the Islamist movement that rules the Gaza Strip Hamas was reserved in its reaction.
"The speech was emotional, and will be judged by how long it takes him to implement his commitment to end the agreements with the Israeli occupation," said spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri, according to AFP.
Hamas and Abbas's Fatah movement remain deeply divided.