Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has received a hero’s welcome in the West Bank, triumphantly telling his people the “Palestinian Spring” has begun following his historic speech to the U.N. last week.

Mr. Abbas asked the world body on Friday to recognise Palestinian independence, defying appeals from Israel and the United States to return to peace talks.

The speech has transformed Mr. Abbas, who widely been viewed as a bland bureaucrat, into a hero. The 76-year-old leader repeatedly shook and waved his hands to the crowd during his brief speech on Sunday.

Mr. Abbas said that just as an Arab Spring is transforming the greater Arab world, a Palestinian Spring has begun.

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