The Palestinian president has returned home from his historic trip to the United Nations to be greeted by jubilant crowds in the West Bank.
After the General Assembly in New York granted Palestine non-member observer state status, Mahmoud Abbas promised to restart the process of reconciliation between the Fatah and Hamas Palestinian factions.
He said that the vote was a de facto recognition of Palestine, but there was a warning about the Israeli response.
“Now we have a state,” Abbas said, “Palestine has succeeded in something historic at the United Nations. The recognition of Palestine as a country changes everything. It highlights new realities.”
But he went on: “We must be aware that your victory has provoked the forces of war, colonisation and occupation.”
President Abbas carefully avoided naming Israel specifically, realising that there are also voices in Israel that oppose, for instance, the policy of Jewish settlement building on land the Palestinians consider to be theirs.
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