Abbas Returns, Hailed as Hero

Palestinians elated over UN's recognition; Israel seethes

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 2, 2012 9:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Mahmoud Abbas returned home today to something of a rock star's welcome: Cheering crowds chanting his name and waving Palestinian flags greeted the president, who is fresh off his successful bid to have the United Nations recognize Palestine, reports al-Jazeera. "Yes, now we have a state," Abbas told crowds assembled in the West Bank. "The world has said loudly, `Yes, to the state of Palestine.'"

It's not all roses for Abbas, however: Israel announced plans for 3,000 new settlement homes mere hours after the UN vote. And the AP notes that it's following through on its threat to withhold some $100 million of revenue it collects each month on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, which Israel says owes $200 million to the Israel Electric Corporation.

Palestinians wave flags and pictures of Mahmoud Abbas as they celebrate their successful bid to win UN statehood recognition in Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Palestinians wave flags and pictures of Mahmoud Abbas as they celebrate their successful bid to win UN statehood recognition in Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians hold pictures of Mahmoud Abbas, as they celebrate their successful bid to win UN statehood recognition in Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Palestinians hold pictures of Mahmoud Abbas, as they celebrate their successful bid to win UN statehood recognition in Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinians wave flags as they celebrate their successful bid to win UN statehood recognition in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Palestinians wave flags as they celebrate their successful bid to win UN statehood recognition in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves to the crowd during celebrations of the UN's recognition of their statehood in Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves to the crowd during celebrations of the UN's recognition of their statehood in Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walks past an honor guard during an arrival ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas walks past an honor guard during an arrival ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi, Pool)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reviews Bedouin guards of honor during an official reception in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reviews Bedouin guards of honor during an official reception in Amman, Jordan, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012.   (AP Photo/ Raad Adayleh)
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