Palestinians blast Obama's UN speech at West Bank rally
Protesters amass near Abbas' Ramallah office, accuse U.S. President of siding 'with killers against victims'; activists call for protests in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.
Dozens of Palestinians gathered outside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' office in Ramallah on Thursday, protesting U.S. President Barack Obama's opposition to their bid to gain recognition of a Palestinian state in the United Nations.
The protesters held up anti-Obama signs, including one reading "Obama the hypocrite" and another claiming the American president is siding "with killers against victims."
Also Thursday, the Egypt's semi-official Al Ahram newspaper reported online that activists in several Arab countries have called mass demonstrations in support of the Palestinian bid for statehood.
The demonstrations are being organized for Friday in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, countries where uprisings have this year led to the toppling of long-standing rulers.
The activists planned to protest Obama's address on Wednesday at UN General Assembly, which they termed disappointing and biased, Al Ahram said.
Obama reiterated his objection of what he considered to be a unilateral Palestinain move for UN recognition in a speech given in front of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, saying that the only path for peace was bilateral negotiations.
In a meeting with Abbas following his UN address on Wednesday, Obama told the Palestinian president that UN action would not achieve a Palestinian state and the United States would veto any Security Council move to recognize Palestinian statehood.
"We would have to oppose any action at the UN Security Council including, if necessary, vetoing," Ben Rhodes, the White House national security council spokesman, told reporters after Obama met Abbas in New York.
PLO diplomatic envoy to the U.S. Maen Rashid Erekat told Haaretz that the U.S. President "reiterated the commitment of the U.S. to the establishment of the Palestinian state, as part of the two-state solution, and stressed the position of the US that the UN is not the right venue to reach this goal."
"President Abbas explained the Palestinian position - basically it's what we've done in the past few months, each side explained his position," he added.