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Palestinian Authority's name changed to "State of Palestine"

Move, prompted by Mahmoud Abbas, follows UN General Assembly decision to upgrade the entity's status

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UN General Assembly members applaud after granting 'non-member observer' status to Palestine on Nov. 29, 2012 in New York City. (John Moore/AFP/Getty Images)

The Palestinian Authority's name has been changed to the "State of Palestine" at the behest of President Mahmoud Abbas, in a move that reflects the entities recent upgrade to a "nonmember observer state" by the United Nations General Assembly.

The decree was released Thursday by WAFA, the Palestinian News and Info Agency, and all stamps, signs, and letterheads will be altered to reflect the new name as soon as possible, reports the Times of Israel.

The United Nations appears to have acceded to a Palestinian request to be referred to as a "state" back in December, according to the Daily Beast.

Read more from GlobalPost: Arab League chief: Palestinians will soon petition UN for full statehood status

Palestine's status was upgraded to a nonmember observer state from a non-member observer entity by the UN General Assembly at the end of November, with more than 130 countries voting in favor, reported the New York Times.

The shift places Palestine in the same category as the Vatican, in the eyes of the United Nations, reported CNN.

Israel and the United States both opposed the shift, stating that it was unlikely to bring peace to the region. It's as yet unknown if Palestine will attempt to petition for full statehood in the near future.

Read more from GlobalPost: Chatter: Palestine is a state, sort of

It's been a big day for Abbas in Gaza, where supporters of his Fatah faction gathered in droves to celebrate their 48th anniversary.

Although Hamas governs Gaza, Fatah was permitted to hold celebrations there for the first time since they came to power five years ago, says the BBC.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/130104/palestinian-authoritys-name-changed-st