Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas has signed a presidential decree to officially change the name of the PA to “State of Palestine,” the Associated Press reported.
According to a report cited by the AP from the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, all stamps, signs and official letterhead will be changed to bear the new name.
While largely a symbolic gesture, the move does represent the first concrete steps Abbas has taken since the resolution that upgraded the Palestinians’ United Nations status to a nonmember observer state in November. Abbas and other Palestinian leaders have also threatened to file war crimes indictments against Israeli leaders at the International Criminal Court.
Meanwhile, Abbas’s Fatah party on Jan. 2 held its first rally in Gaza since Hamas ousted it from power in that area in 2007, further indicating a thaw between the Palestinian factions. More than 100,000 people turned out to celebrate the anniversary of Fatah’s founding in 1965. Last month, Hamas had held its first rally in the West Bank since its split with Fatah.
Fatah has also taken the opportunity of its 48th anniversary to broadcast messages on its Facebook and Web pages that incite hatred, glorify terrorism and envision a world without Israel. Palestinian Media Watch reported that Fatah displayed a map on its Web page showing a world without Israel, despite statements from Abbas and other Fatah officials that their party and the Palestinian Liberation Organization have both recognized the Jewish state since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.