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PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

Video: Ramallah welcomes French vote on Palestinian statehood

AFP

On the streets of Ramallah in the West Bank, most Palestinians are not aware of the French parliamentary vote on the recognition of Palestine set for Tuesday. But when told about the vote, the move gets a warm welcome.

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"It’s not going to change anything for us, but it’s a strong symbolic move nonetheless," said a young Ramallah resident.

At the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization, seasoned Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi says that more than 20 years of negotiations with Israel have not brought peace – it’s time to try something new.

“If you are serious about the two-state solution, which is an imperative for peace…then you have to recognise the Palestinian state before Israel destroys it completely,” says Ashrawi.

Israeli officials however have condemned the vote with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it “a serious mistake”.

Although the vote is symbolic, its passage would make France the fourth European nation to support Palestinian sovereignty.

Last month, Sweden became the first West European nation to recognise the Palestinian state.

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