Palestinians cheer Abbas on return to Palestine
Abbas tells crowd,
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas returned home to a hero's welcome on Sunday as thousands of people cheered his arrival in the West Bank. Upon his arrival, Abbas told the assembly that a "Palestinian spring" had been born after his historic speech to the UN last week.
Abbas declares the arrival of the 'Palestinian spring.'
Abbas drew comparison with his campaign to the Arab Spring uprisings which have brought unprecedented change to the middle east. He told Palestinians that an independent Palestinian state is an inevitability.
In his triumphant speech he said, "We have told the world that there is the Arab Spring, but the Palestinian Spring is here. A popular spring, a populist spring, a spring of peaceful struggle that will reach its goal." He also warned the crowd that the path forward would be difficult, "There are those who would put out obstacles...but with your presence they will fall and we will reach our end."
The Palestinian people have wanted an independent Palestinian state for decades. They are asking for the east Jerusalem, Gaza Strip, and the West Bank to be ceded to their control.
While Israel has said it is ready to resume peace talks, they have rejected Palestinian requests to stop construction of Jewish settlements in lands that the Palestinians wish to claim for their own. They have also rejected the overall territorial demands of the Palestinians , refusing to give up all of the lands they seized in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.
The Palestinian request to the UN is expected to take several weeks before a decision is made. The U.S. has promised to veto the request if it moves forward. As an alternative, the Palestinians said they will request "observer status" which is a lesser status, but one that is enjoyed by entities such as the Vatican.
Regardless of how the UN votes or if the Palestinians gain observer status, the current situation is a resounding political victory for them, and a great boost to President Abbas.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Palestine, Abbas, Palestinian spring, Israel, UN, statehood
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