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Palestinian protests continue as Abbas pledges to snub U.S. vice president's visit

10 December, 2017, 04:42 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Trump's second-in-command Pence 'unwelcome in Palestine': Fatah official

Abbas' refusal to host Trump was confirmed by Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki before an Arab League meeting in Cairo.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas will not hold a planned meeting with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence following Washington's controversial policy shift on Jerusalem, an Abbas aide said on Saturday.

The American president later takes the world by shock when announcing plans to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and signs the decision in a ceremony which enraged millions of Arabs.

Four people have now been killed and dozens wounded since Trump announced the move, which drew criticism from every other member of the UN Security Council at an emergency meeting on Friday.

Al-Khalidi added that "the USA in its decision on Jerusalem has crossed and passed all red lines".

The Coptic Church's announcement comes a day after one of Egypt's most influential Muslim leaders, the Imam of the Al-Azhar mosque, also threatened to cancel a planned meeting with Pence later in the month.

"And President Abbas will not welcome him because of the statements he made" about Jerusalem.

About 60 Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli soldiers across the Gaza-Israel border and the health ministry said one bystander was wounded by Israeli gunfire.

In Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem police fired stun grenades to disperse Palestinian demonstrators on the main Salahedin Street, an AFP cameraman said.

A Palestinian Red Crescent Society spokesperson told MEE that 12 people had been injured by tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets in Bethlehem by mid-afternoon.

Pence is due to travel to Egypt and Israel in the second half of December, a visit that has taken on extra significance in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "Continued fire will result in a harsh and painful response from the Israel Defence Forces, so do not test our strength", wrote Major General Yoav Mordechai, head of the defence ministry agency responsible for civilian affairs in the Palestinian territories.

In Gaza, the Islamist movement Hamas urged its followers to ignite a third intifada, or uprising, against Israel.

Abbas said Trump has disqualified the United States from its traditional role as peace broker in the Middle East conflict.

White House and US State Department officials did not respond to requests for comment on Abbas's declaration.

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