News / Middle East

Palestinians Cheer President Abbas During UN Speech

Palestinians watch their President Mahmoud Abbas on TV as he delivers his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Hebron, September 23, 2011.
Palestinians watch their President Mahmoud Abbas on TV as he delivers his speech at the General Assembly of the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Hebron, September 23, 2011.

Palestinians erupted in cheers Friday upon hearing the news that President Mahmoud Abbas had submitted an application for statehood at the United Nations.

Thousands of people crowded city centers across the West Bank to watch on giant television monitors as their leader delivered a speech to the United Nations General Assembly where he asked for statehood.

Cars flying the Palestinian flag and people carrying posters of Abbas and the late leader Yasser Arafat decorated the streets of Ramallah, the West Bank capital.

Before Abbas and his Israeli counterpart, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, made their appeals to the 193-member assembly in New York City, tensions mounted along heavily armored Israeli-Palestinian checkpoints

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man near Nablus in the West Bank after a confrontation erupted between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out along the border near East Jerusalem and Ramallah as Palestinian protesters hurled rocks at Israeli forces.

Israel says it had deployed 22,000 security officers across the country in advance of the speech to respond to possible unrest.

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