Thousands of Palestinians took to the streets on Thursday to celebrate their upgraded U.N. status, while others expressed concern over possible Israeli and U.S. sanctions.
On Thursday, West Bank cities were engaged in a flurry of preparations for the rallies. Streets had been cleaned and festooned with Palestinian flags while street vendors set up shop distributing coffee and candy.
"Israelis need to understand that we are sick of war, and that we want to live in peace in our country," a store owner in Ramallah said. "During Operation Pillar of Defense there were almost no violent protests against Israel, and that shows the changes that have taken place among Palestinians in the West Bank."
The store owner was interrupted by another vendor, who said, "Hamas boasted that they succeeded in firing missiles at Tel Aviv and put millions of Israelis in shelters. There are a many people in the West Bank who say that Hamas' way is the right way and that Israelis only understand force."
Meanwhile, some Palestinians expressed concern over the Palestinian Authority's unilateral move at the U.N.
"The U.S. Congress enacted a law stating any unilateral move by the Palestinian Authority would be met with an end to financial aid,” one said. “Mahmoud Abbas is waging wars that we have to shoulder, without even thinking about where we will get food to feed our children. I and many others worry that the move will lead to economic collapse and the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority."
Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti could be seen on Thursday overseeing workers building a stage to broadcast Abbas' speech at Arafat Square in Ramallah.
"We also deserve to have our 29th of November [the date the U.N. voted for the creation of a Jewish state in British mandated Palestine]," he said.