Palestinians Change Their Name
President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestinian Authority ordered his government to officially change their name to “State of Palestine.” This occurred after the decision of the United Nation to upgrade the Palestinians’ status to a “non-member observer state” (last November). Abbas made this move as a step toward “real independence.” Currently, Israel controls most of the West Bank. Of course, Israel objected to the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN, as did the United States. It was felt by both democracies that this was a unilateral step aimed at bypassing direct peace negotiations.