Palestinians Dance in Streets After Vote

Raucous Rallies on West Bank Welcome Statehood Victory

Ramallah Rally: Palestinians cheer the expected approval of the push for statehood at the United Nations.
Ramallah Rally: Palestinians cheer the expected approval of the push for statehood at the United Nations.

By Reuters

Published November 29, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Thousands of flag-waving Palestinians set off fireworks and danced in the streets on Thursday to celebrate a United Nations General Assembly vote granting de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state.

In Bethlehem, the bells of the Church of the Nativity peeled in honour of the vote, and thousands of people crowded around to watch a live broadcast of President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech in New York projected on the concrete of Israel’s separation wall.

“I feel we are living a historic day, the birth of the state of Palestine,” said Suha Awadallah, wearing a black and white keffiyeh, in Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital.

In a rare show of unity, Abbas’s Islamist rivals Hamas, who have ruled Gaza since a brief civil war in 2007, let supporters of the president’s Fatah movement hold rallies there.

In the West Bank towns of Hebron, Nablus and Jenin, as well as Ramallah, people gathered on rooftops and balconies, cheering patriotic songs blaring from speakers.

The crowds were boosted by last-minute declarations of support from west European countries, adding more weight to the victory in the 193-member U.N. General Assembly, which upgraded the Palestinian Authority’s observer status to a “non-member state”.

“Now we can drag Israel to international courts for crimes committed against Palestinians in Gaza, this is important for us,” Mohammad Issa in Ramallah said, as he listened to Abbas’s speech.

U.N. recognition would allow the Palestinians to take action against Israel at the International Court of Justice on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity or other crimes the court would have jurisdiction over.

Nasser Abdel Hadi, owner of a famous Ramallah restaurant, baked a massive pizza in the red, white, green and black colours of the Palestinian flag.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I’ve never bought illegal drugs, but I imagine a small-time drug deal to feel a bit like buying hummus underground in Brooklyn."
  • We try to show things that get less exposed to the public here. We don’t look to document things that are nice or that people would like. We don’t try to show this place as a beautiful place.”
  • A new Gallup poll shows that only 25% of Americans under 35 support the war in #Gaza. Does this statistic worry you?
  • “You will stomp us into the dirt,” is how her mother responded to Anya Ulinich’s new tragicomic graphic novel. Paul Berger has a more open view of ‘Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.