Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas returned to the region on Sunday, after overseeing the successful bid at the United Nations General Assembly to grant non-member observer state status to Palestine at the UN.
Thousands took to the streets in Ramallah to welcome Abbas, who upon his arrival laid a wreath on the grave of former PA head Yasser Arafat.
Celebrations in Ramallah on the day of the vote had been somewhat subdued, with a few thousand gathering in the city’s main square to wave flags and watch the vote, amid music and dance performances.
According to Israel Radio, Abbas has said that he does not intend to use the new status to turn to the International Criminal Court in The Hague in an effort to redress Palestinian grievances against Israel, but would do so if “the Palestinian people are attacked.”
In April, the Hague rejected a PA bid to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by Israel during the December 2008-January 2009 Israel-Hamas conflict, saying it only accepted claims by states.
The upgraded status for the Palestinians means they may now be able to approach the court.