The news of the UN General Assembly’s decision to upgrade the Palestinians status was the cue for wild celebrations across the West Bank and Gaza.
In Ramallah, thousands hit the streets for a frenzy of flag-waving and fireworks.
Many in the crowd expressed their delight at the UN’s decision and their pride in President Mahmoud Abbas following his speech to the UN.
“I’m so proud, like a Palestinian, I’m so proud, this President represents me, he reflected our dreams in such a tremendous way,” one woman said.
In the city of Bethlehem, the bells of the Church of the Nativity rang out in honour of the vote.
Thousands had gathered next to the Israeli separation barrier to watch the live broadcast of President Abbas give his speech.
“Today, thanks to God’s will, we celebrate the victory of Palestine. It is now on the world map. A country like any other country,” one man said.
There was also jubilation on the streets of Gaza.
In a rare show of unity, Abbas’ Islamist rivals Hamas, who control the territory, let the President’s Fatah movement hold a victory rally.
‘‘It is a historical moment,” said one man.
“It should be written in history that the Palestinian state was recognised. The 29th November is an historic date. We are so proud of it,” said another man.
During his address to the UN, President Abbas described the vote as a last chance to save the so- called two state solution.
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