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Palestinians announce date for mass protests

August 1, 2011

Palestinian officials say they plan to begin mass marches against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank on Sept. 20, the eve of a laregly symbolic U.N. vote expected to recognize their independence.

Palestinian official Yasser Abed Rabbo says leaders hope to draw millions of people into the streets, and say the day will be the beginning of prolonged demonstrations.

He says the marches will be peaceful. But Israeli leaders fear any unrest could easily spin out of control.

With peace talks stalled, the Palestinians have decided to ask the U.N. to endorse their independence. The vote will likely be largely symbolic, but the Palestinians believe any international endorsement will isolate Israel.

Palestinian leaders approved the protest plan at a meeting in the West Bank on Monday.

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