Palestinians Celebrate U.N. Statehood Vote

5:59 PM, Nov 29, 2012   |    comments
  • Palestinians celebrate in Ramallah, West Bank after the U.N. granted Palestine status as a nonmember observer state. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Palestinians in Ramallah watch on a giant TV screen as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks at the U.N. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) - Palestinians have erupted in wild cheers, hugging each other and honking car horns after the United Nations voted to grant them, at least formally, what they have long yearned for - a state of their own.

In the central celebration in the West Bank city of Ramallah, hundreds crowding into the main square waved Palestinian flags and chanted "God is great" after the U.N. General Assembly vote.

It accepted "Palestine" as a non-member observer state with a vote of 138 in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions.

The decision won't immediately change lives here, since much of what the world body is defining as the territory of that state - the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem - remains under Israeli control. Yet many Palestinians savored the global recognition.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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