Sept. 24 - Palestinians in the West Bank welcome President Mahmoud Abbas' appeal to the UN for statehood, while Gazans call for armed revolt against Israel. Andrew Raven reports.
Morning in the West Bank city of Hebron. The mood here is upbeat, a day after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas - Abu Mazen - formally presented a bid for statehood to the United Nations. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF HEBRON, MUSTAFA IMAM, SAYING: "I hope that we will have a state and we will be state number 194. President Abu Mazen (referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) had a proper speech yesterday and I hope that he convinced the international world that Palestine exists." Abbas called on the UN to formally recognize Palestine as a country - a move that comes amid stalled peace talks with Israel. While the push has received support in the West Bank, in the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip, people said Abbas should not beg for statehood. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GAZA RESIDENT ANWAR HANIYEH, SAYING: "My message to Mahmoud Abbas is to go back to the people. What was taken by using iron will only return by using iron." In Israel, opposition to the bid was also strong. (SOUNDBITE) (English) HELGA ABRAHAM, JERUSALEM RESIDENT, SAYING: "You either win a war and create a state, or you negotiate. A piece of paper just will not help them (Palestinians), so its a joke." The bid has deeply divided the UN and the US has vowed to veto the measure. Andrew Raven, Reuters