Palestinian Authority officials joined a ceremony on Thursday to lay the cornerstone for a new museum of “Palestinian culture, history and society” in Bir Zeit near Ramallah, in yet another effort aimed at reconstructing history and attempting to strip the Jewish people from their rights to the Land of Israel.
Organizers told the AFP news agency that the museum would provide Arabs with "a valuable source of information on Palestine and its history".
The museum is to be constructed in two phases, the first of which is slated for completion by the end of 2014. It is expected to cost some $20 million (15.2 million euros).
"The museum will not only be for Palestinians but will reach out to the whole world through an advanced digital network," project manager Omar al-Qattan said as ground was broken on the new venture.
"It will be more than a traditional building with archaeological relics. We are looking at an institution that will transcend all boundaries -- geographical and political," he added.
Palestinian culture minister Siham Barghuti hailed the beginning of the initiative, calling the museum “a great achievement for the Palestinian people."
"The link between memory and everything related to it, to Palestinian history, and to having digital contact with Palestinians everywhere constitutes an important step," she added, according to AFP.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas attempted to gain further legitimacy and international recognition by urging the United Nations in November to grant the PA an upgraded status of “non-member” observer state, which was ultimately approved by a vote of 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions.
Upon hearing the results of the bid, the Anti-Defamation League issued a statement saying that European nations acted “without courage" and "capitulat[ed] to Arab intimidation and pressure" by voting in favor of, or abstaining from the vote.