Beit Sahour Raises the French Flag

 

PNN – Palestine News Network -02.06.11 – 15:10

Beit Sahour – PNN – The Beit Sahour municipality raised the French flag on its municipal building during a ceremony on Wednesday evening.

 

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Beit Sahour, a mostly Christian town in the southern West Bank, has a twinning agreement with the French city Vaulx-en-Velin. As part of this agreement, the French municipality raised the Palestinian flag on its buildings in 2006 when the agreement was signed.

Yesterday Beit Sahour municipality decided to raise the French flag on its building to show respect and gratitude to the French municipality for keeping the Palestinian flag raised even after receiving criticism.

The flag was raised as part of a ceremony that included local boy scout groups, parliamentarians, community leaders and church representatives. The French delegation included the mayor of Vaulx-en-Velin, Bernard Genin, and other municipal officials.

The mayor of Beit Sahour, Hani al-Hayek, told PNN that this is a great event and a symbolic one, because the French municipality raised the Palestinian flag and kept it flying even with many protests against it. So we decided to raise their flag on our municipality to thank them for their support of our cause, said the mayor.

Al-Hayek added that all the municipalities that have twinning agreements with Palestinian municipalities will convene on the same day the UN General Assembly convenes, September 27, which is the session during which the Palestinians plan to submit a proposal for an independent state.

Genin expressed during his speech his deep feelings and happiness to be in the town of Beit Sahour that has had a strong twinning agreement with his city for many years, reiterating that this agreement would continue in the future.

The French mayor said that his decision to raise the Palestinian flag in his municipality was to express his dissatisfaction and anger at the miseries that Palestinians have to live through because of the occupation.

He demanded also the freeze of construction of settlements, removal of the Israeli separation wall and the end of the siege imposed by Israel on Gaza.

Genin also demanded that Israel pull back to the 1967 borders to allow for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, assuring he will always stand next to the Palestinian people in their just cause.

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