Palestinians take to streets to cheer UN statehood vote

By REUTERS
November 30, 2012 01:44

 
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RAMALLAH/GAZA - Thousands of flag-waving Palestinians set off fireworks and danced in the streets on Thursday to celebrate a United Nations General Assembly vote granting de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state.

In Bethlehem, the bells of the Church of the Nativity peeled in honor of the vote, and thousands of people crowded around to watch a live broadcast of PA President Mahmoud Abbas's speech in New York projected on the concrete of the separation wall.

"I feel we are living a historic day, the birth of the state of Palestine," said Suha Awadallah, wearing a black and white keffiyeh, in Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital.

In a rare show of unity, Abbas's Islamist rivals Hamas, who have ruled Gaza since a brief civil war in 2007, let supporters of the president's Fatah movement hold rallies there.

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