Thousands of Palestinians have turned out in Hebron in the West Bank to urge President Mahmoud Abbas to run for re-election.
On Friday, Abbas said he would not stand for a second term, but supporters lined the streets calling for him to change his mind. The rally came as Abbas made a rare visit to towns in the territory, where Palestinians aim to establish a future state. Abbas has expressed disappointment with US President Barack Obama for what he called ‘favouring’ Israel over restarting peace talks. Critics claim his decision not to run is a tactic aimed at pressuring the Americans to force the Israelis to stop settlement building, something the Abbas camp denies. Earlier, Israel marked the 14th anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. In Tel Aviv President Shimon Peres who was in the same square when Rabin was murdered, told the crowd, “an imperfect peace was better, than a perfect war with no end.”