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Bethlehem mayor hails 'birth of the state of Palestine'

Nov. 30, 2012 8:56 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 1, 2012 6:16 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Recently elected mayor Vera Ghattas Baboun on Friday thanked "all the nations and peoples who voted for the right of us Palestinians to live in dignity."

"Only courageous hearts can bring change, and you are one among them," she said in an emailed statement, referring to citizens of the 138 countries that backed Palestine's UN upgrade on Thursday.

"In Christmas season, we continuously celebrate in Bethlehem the bliss of birth and rebirth. Bethlehem as the rest of the Palestinian cities is celebrating now the birth of the state of Palestine.

"At the moment, children, youth, and elders are rejoicing the victory of humanity in bringing justice to the Palestinians," Baboun said. "Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy."

Meanwhile the governor of Ramallah and al-Bireh hailed President Mahmoud Abbas' remarks and the outcome of the vote upgrading Palestine's UN status.

Laila Ghanam said "all Palestinian people felt that they have the will to change, despite all pressure and threats."

She thanked countries supporting the bid and said the nine which voted against it had demonstrated they do not care about Palestinian human rights or international norms.
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