HOMECOMING

Abbas Returns to Hero's Welcome

Bernat Armangue / AP Photo

A Palestinian woman cries during the speech of President Mahmoud Abbas at the General Assembly of the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, Sept. 23, 2011.

After a tense week at the United Nations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas got a hero's welcome when he returned to the West Bank on Sunday. In front of a cheering crowd of thousands, Abbas declared that a "Palestinian Spring" has begun. "Hold your heads up—you are Palestinian," Abbas said in his remarks, predicting a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. While the U.N. weighs his request for statehood, a process he expects to take about two weeks, Abbas has rejected any blueprint for peace talks with Israel that does not include a halt to Israeli settlements.