Abbas Given Hero’s Welcome

    Palestinians wave their national flag and a picture of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas while they celebrate the upgraded United Nations status for the Palestinians in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 2, 2012. Abbas said "Palestine has accomplished a historic achievement at the UN," three days after the United Nations General Assembly granted the Palestinians non-member state observer status in a 138-9 vote. AFP PHOTO / ABBAS MOMANI        (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

    Abbas Momani, AFP / Getty Images

    It’s time for Palestinians to unite, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday. People crammed in at a rally in Ramallah, where Abbas spoke after returning from a successful trip to the United Nations, which gave “nonmember observer state” status to the authority. The change puts the Palestinians on the same footing as the Vatican in the eyes of the international organization. The most important divide facing Abbas lies between his own Fatah party, based in the West Bank, and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Abbas said Sunday that he thinks the two factions can “achieve reconciliation.”

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