Sept 22 - Palestinians from Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank hope their bid for statehood will be successful, but remain sceptical it will secure necessary backing. Nick Rowlands reports.
In the face of U.S. and Israeli objections, Palestinians are divided over the prospects of their upcoming request for statehood at the United Nations. Some people in Jerusalem are hopeful the city could become the capital of a new Palestinian state. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) JERUSALEM RESIDENT AYMAN EL RAJABI: "We tell the President, Abu Mazen, we are behind you to establish a Palestinian state, God-willing soon we will announce the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital." But following President Barack Obama's last-minute diplomatic drive to head off the Palestinian plan, many in the West Bank believe the U.S. is putting Israel above all other considerations. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RAMALLAH RESIDENT, UM MUSTAFA: "As a Palestinian people we would like to have a state, like all the other people. And it is our right to have a right to have self-determination. And everyone knows that Israel is America's spoiled child that can do whatever it wants." Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is determined to press ahead with the statehood bid. Residents of the Gaza Strip are clinging to the hope that their lot will some day improve. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) GAZA CITY RESIDENT, KARAM MIJDAL: "We in the refugee camps are living under very difficult conditions, we are looking for any semblance of hope in the declaration of the state. God-willing there will be a state." Some in Hebron in the West Bank believe Palestinians are still too divided for statehood. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEBRON RESIDENT, MAMUN EL BAYED: "We don't have a national reconciliation yet, how can we have negotiations, how can they go to the United Nations when we have not yet organized ourselves." President Obama finds himself opposing Palestinian self-determination even as he praises the pro-democracy movements that have shaken the Arab world, and some believe he may be losing what influence he once had in the region. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.