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Palestinian Authority rebrands itself 'State of Palestine' after U.N. vote

By CNN Staff
January 8, 2013 -- Updated 1317 GMT (2117 HKT)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 2.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks upon his arrival in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 2.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Rebranding comes amid efforts to unify rival Palestinian factions
  • Decree from Mahmoud Abbas renames Palestinian Authority as the "State of Palestine"
  • Change comes after the U.N. upgraded the authority's status to "non-member observer state"
  • The authority had been classified as a "non-member observer entity" until the vote

(CNN) -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has issued a decree renaming the organization the "State of Palestine," according to WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency.

The change comes a little more than a month after the United Nations voted to upgrade the authority's status to "non-member observer state." The authority had been classified as a "non-member observer entity" until the November 29 vote.

Abbas issued the decree Thursday, WAFA said.

With the decree, Palestinian identification, passports and other documents will be branded with the new name, WAFA said.

WAFA called the change a "unique new move to the path of national independence."

The rebranding comes amid efforts to unify rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas following the watershed U.N. vote -- widely seen as a victory for Abbas' Fatah faction -- as well as the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Read more: Hamas leader unbending, but seeks Palestinian unity

After the conflict, Hamas was given approval to hold its first rally in the West Bank, which Fatah controls. Hamas, which controls Gaza, allowed Fatah to stage a rally there Saturday.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has also invited Abbas and Hamas political leader Khaled Meshaal, who lives in Cairo, to a meeting to discuss Palestinian unity.

Read more: Gaza rally called step toward unity for Fatah and Hamas

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