NEW signs welcoming visitors to Oxford have quietly weighed in on one of the most controversial subjects in international politics today.

Oxford City Council unveiled its new boundary signs on Monday, which now include Oxford's two newest twin cities – Ramallah and Padua.

While the Italian city of Padua is uncontroversial, the city of Ramallah is listed as being in 'Palestine'.

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The city is located in the West Bank, a territory which is claimed by Palestinian people along with the Gaza Strip, but which has been occupied by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967.

Although 138 members of the United Nations recognise The State of Palestine, another 55 do not.

The city council said it hoped its twinning with Ramallah would 'flourish, encourage understanding and contribute, if only in a small way, to peace and justice in the region'.

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Lord Mayor of Oxford Craig Simmons said on Monday: "I’d like to offer a city welcome to the Oxford Ramallah Twinning committee and The Oxford Padova Link here today, and thank them for their hard work to bring about these new ties, alongside the Oxford Italian Association and Oxford Ramallah Friendship Association.

"We have benefited from thousands of cultural exchanges and activities with our twin cities over the years, and I look forward to building deeper connections between Oxford and our new twinned cities in the future."