Palestinians turned out in their thousands in the streets of the West Bank and Gaza today to celebrate another step towards statehood.
President Mahmoud Abbas headed to the UN general assembly with huge backing for his bid for upgraded diplomatic status despite strong US and Israeli opposition.
Although the session wouldn't start until 10pm their time - 8pm GMT - Palestinians were certain that a victory was in the offing and they celebrated accordingly throughout the day.
The president was to call for recognition of Palestine as a UN "non-member observer state" by the 193-member assembly.
The Palestinians say 132 countries recognise their state bilaterally, although some are expected to abstain.
But the motion requires only a simple majority and the bid was widely expected to be approved.
Palestinians are determined to make the 65th anniversary of the UN resolution that divided Palestine a historic landmark in their quest for statehood.
The US had launched an aggressive campaign against the bid, claiming it will do nothing to improve the prospect of new peace talks.
And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the UN decision "won't change anything on the ground," adding: "It won't promote the creation of a Palestinian state, it will distance it."
US officials met Mr Abbas on Wednesday but couldn't convince him to back down.
Mr Abbas also held talks with a host of diplomats before his speech, including Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who pledged his country's support.
Canada has said it will join the US and oppose the resolution.
Only one European country, the Czech Republic, is expected to vote against the resolution, with Germany and Britain saying they would abstain.
However France has pledged its support, as have Russia, China and a many Latin American countries.
Success will allow the Palestinians to apply to join the International Criminal Court - a prospect that worries Israel, which fears legal action against it.
The Palestinian Authority could lose millions of dollars of aid - Washington alone has threatened to pull about $200 million (£125m).
Israel is considering freezing the transfer of tax and customs funds it collects for the Palestinians.
But nothing was deterring the Palestinians from showing pride in their nation and their longing for statehood today.
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