Jerusalem, Sept. 22 – Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied around the West BankWednesday (Sept. 21) in support of the Palestinian leadership’s bid for diplomatic recognition at the United Nations. American flags were burned and people shouted anti-American chants at the protests.
The Palestinian Authority is organizing mass demonstrations around the West Bank for Friday (Sept. 23) after midday prayers - in part to rally support for the U.N. maneuver and in part against the U.S. administration.
People across the West Bank were reportedly upset by U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech at the opening of the U.N. General Assembly Wednesday, in which he stated resounding support for two-states for two peoples achieved through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“Ultimately, peace depends upon compromise among people who must live together long after our speeches are over, long after our votes have been tallied…And that is and will be the path to a Palestinian state -- negotiations between the parties,” said Obama. Netanyahu thanked Obama for pushing a peace agenda when the two leaders met following the speech.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called on the Israelis and Palestinians to follow a “precise timetable” of negotiations – one month to restart talks, six months to agree on borders and security and one year to reach a definitive settlement.
Yet Fawzi Barhoum, Hamas spokesman in Gaza, called Obama’s speech a “poor attempt to rescue Israel out of its crisis throughout fake calls that have no credit for the Palestinians," a Hamas statement said, according to Xinhua.
Hamas, a terror regime that runs Gaza with financial and weapons-aid from the Islamic Republic of Iran, called the speech a “total failure,” Israel’s YNet reported. Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu-Zuhri said Hamas does not need lessons from Obama about Israel and democracy.
Iran-backed Hezbollah reported that Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman supports the Palestinian efforts but that the resolution is not a “final solution” because, for example, it does not guarantee the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
Pointing to possible hesitation about the bid, Palestinian leaders said Wednesday that they would give the U.N. Security Council “some time” to study their application for full membership of the United Nations.