this is serious business
Join Date: Dec 2007
Total Points: 24,726,490,461,477,648.00
Palestinians rally in the West Bank to support statehood bid
Diplomatic efforts over a Palestinian bid for UN membership are intensifying New York, while thousands have rallied in the West Bank to back the move.
Schools and government offices are shut to allow for demonstrations in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Nablus and Hebron.
US President Barack Obama is to meet both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas later in New York.
Mr Obama will urge Mr Abbas to give up the initiative, expected on Friday.
The US has vowed to veto the request in the UN Security Council, while backing Israel's view that direct talks offer the only route to peace.
It wants to give the "quartet" of mediators time to produce a statement that would be the basis for resumed peace negotiations, though efforts by US, European, Russian and UN mediators have yet to produce guidelines for the resumption of talks.