Thousands expected to welcome Abbas in Ramallah

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Maan News Agency | Sept 25, 2011

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Thousands of Palestinians are expected to gather at the presidential headquarters at Ramallah on Sunday to welcome President Mahmoud Abbas on his return from New York, the official Wafa news agency reported.

The civil servants’ union in Nablus announced Sunday that it would suspend work at noon to allow employees to join rallies to welcome the president. It said in a statement that dozens of buses had been arranged to transport employees from Nablus to Ramallah.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied in cities across the West Bank on Friday to watch Abbas address the UN General Assembly, hailing their president’s historic bid for Palestinian UN membership.

In Ramallah, crowds shouted: “Abbas we are your people and you truly make us raise our heads high. With our souls and our blood, we will defend Palestine!”

The scene was similar in city centers across the West Bank, where massive crowds gathered in front of giant television screens to listen to Abbas urge the international community to approve the membership bid.

As Abbas approached the UN podium to address the General Assembly, the jubilant crowds fell silent.

They listened, waiting for the moment he would officially announce he had handed over the request for the UN to accept Palestine as a full member state — and then they went wild.

Men and women jumped up and down, arm-in-arm, waving flags and chanting “God is great, God is great.”

Abbas arrived in Amman on Saturday, telling reporters on board the presidential plane: “I am going back to homeland, to my people as soon as possible.”

The 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly meeting will conclude on Tuesday.

AFP contributed to this report.



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