Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Abbas will not meet US Vice President Pence: Palestine official

Trump's second-in-command Pence 'unwelcome in Palestine': Fatah official Abbas will not meet US Vice President Pence: Palestine official
Lillian Steele | 10 December, 2017, 04:41

Following Trump's speech, in which the U.S. president recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and ordered the State Department to begin preparations for moving the USA embassy to the city from Tel Aviv, Abbas slammed the move and said the United States has ended its historic role as the key sponsor for Israel-Palestinian peace talks.

A senior Palestinian official said on Thursday his group would "not receive" Pence in Palestinian areas, and called on Arab leaders to not meet with the vice president.

Abbas praised the members for affirming their rejection of the "dangerous" move by the United States that "violates all global resolutions and the basis of the peace process that considers Jerusalem as a final status issue", according to Wafa.

The Hamas movement declared Friday a "day of rage".

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 12 Palestinians were injured by shrapnel from grenades or by blows from police. Meanwhile, protesters, the majority of them young boys and men, erected a barricade blocking the road and threw stones in the direction of an army base north of Bethlehem. Tensions are running high in the occupied territories, where Hamas leader Ismail Haniya has called for a new uprising, or intifada, against Israeli rule.

In addition to announcing the U.S. would formally recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the president also announced plans to move the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Tens of thousands also protested in Muslim and Arab countries, including Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia. Israel had already responded on Friday night to the first two rockets with air strikes in which the Gaza health ministry said 14 people were wounded, among them women and children.

Five European countries on the UN Security Council insisted the new United States policy was not consistent with past resolutions, including one that declares East Jerusalem to be Israeli-occupied.

Pence is expected to visit the region later this month.

But it remains to be said that Palestinians stand the biggest loss in the face of these conflicts-their cause loses a bit more as extremist forces continue and as Iran employs Palestinian suffering as a vantage point.

The meeting was requested by eight of the 15 members of the council but was largely symbolic as no vote on a resolution was planned because the USA wields veto power.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said the Palestinians will be looking for a new peace talks broker instead of the United States and would seek a United Nations Security Council resolution over Trump's decision.

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