Palestinians show support for Abbas' statehood bid

September 21, 2011 - 3:55 AM
Mideast Israel Palestinians

Palestinians march during a rally supporting the Palestinian statehood bid in the United Nations, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas pressed ahead with his campaign for statehood before the U.N. despite frantic U.S. efforts Tuesday to forge a diplomatic solution that would avoid a charged vote before the Security Council. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinians are streaming to the center of the West Bank city of Ramallah to show support for their president's bid to win U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

Wednesday's rally was carefully orchestrated, with civil servants and school students given time off to participate.

President Mahmoud Abbas is to address the U.N. General Assembly later this week and request full U.N. membership.

The U.S. and Israel oppose such a move, and the possible repercussions for ordinary Palestinians are not yet clear. Some say they worry about retaliation, such as a tightening of travel restrictions by Israel or a cut in U.S. aid.

Still, a poll this week indicated that Abbas has overwhelming popular support for the recognition bid.