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September 25, 2013 1:19 pm

State Department Photo Lists ‘Palestine’ as Official Country

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Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: Screenshot. A photo posted on the U.S. State Department’s Instagram account on Tuesday lists “Palestine” as an official country. The post occurred a day after the State Department unveiled its new Instagram account.

“These social media accounts serve as a conduit for the U.S. Department of State to inform and engage publics around the world on foreign policy issues,” the State Department said in a special statement announcing the roll-out on Monday.

Secretary of State John Kerry even released a video message for the occasion. “Finally, the State Department is on Instagram, and we hope you’ll follow us around the world,” Kerry said.

Tuesday’s photo was only the fifth post on the Instagram account, and it was also shared on the State Department’s Facebook account. The post was about logistics ahead of the U.N. General Assembly taking place in New York, but it may have inadvertently revealed the terms used by State Department officials.

“Behind the scenes at #UNGA. We keep hundreds of flags on hand for meetings surrounding the 68th UN General Assembly. Is your flag in the photo?” reads the post, alongside a picture featuring the State Department’s inventory of flags. The flags are stacked in transparent plastic cases, with the name of each country written on the outside.

One of the cases has “Palestine” written on the outside, with the Palestinian flag clearly visible inside. An Israel Hayom reporter tried to contact the State Department on Tuesday through Twitter to get additional information on the picture, but as of Wednesday, no official State Department reaction was noted on Twitter or Instagram. A commenter on the Instagram page asks, “State Department, have you noticed that one of the cases says Palestine? Is that official U.S. policy?”

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