Palestinian Authority Officially Changes Its Name To 'State Of Palestine'

Mahmoud Abbas has ordered the Palestinian Authority to officially change its name to the State of Palestine.

The Palestinian President issued the order following Palestine's successful bid for UN non-member status - a move fiercely contested by Israel and the US.

Both criticised the bid, saying Palestinian statehood can only be achieved through bilateral talks with the Jewish state.

A supporter of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

State news agency WAFA said the order, which came on Sunday, came with instructions to the government on updating all stamps, signs and official letterheads.

President Abbas's office released a statement claiming the move was aimed at enhancing Palestinian "sovereignty on the ground" and was a step to "real independence", AP reports.

Israel still controls much of the West Bank.

Ramallah-based newspaper Al-Ayyam reported on its front page: “Presidential instructions to use State of Palestine instead of the Palestinian Authority on official documentation.”