BEIJING, Dec. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has returned to the West Bank after the UN voted to accept the Palestinian Authority as a non-member, observer state. Some 5,000 people thronged the square outside the government headquarters in Ramallah, where Abbas said they "achieved an historic achievement".
Abbas addressed thousands of people who gathered at the Palestinian presidency headquarters in the West Bank to welcome him back from New York.
He came back from New York, where the United Nations granted Palestine the status of a non-member observer state. The vote was passed at the General Assembly 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions.
Abbas said, "Our great nation Palestine has achieved an historic achievement in the United Nations. And the 29th of November 2012 has become a landmark in the struggle for our homeland."
Abbas said his first step now will be achieving national reconciliation and seek an end to the feud between his Fatah movement and Hamas.
Hamas supported Abbas’s UN bid and allowed Fatah supporters to take to the streets on November 29 to celebrate the General Assembly’s vote.
Meanwhile, Washington has threatened to withhold funds to the already cash-strapped Palestinian Authority.
And Israel said on Sunday it would not transfer millions of dollars of tax funds it owes the Palestinians as punishment for going to the UN.
This follows Israel’s announcement on Friday that it would build 3,000 settler homes in the occupied West Bank, including east Jerusalem.