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Abbas' spokesman says 'Jerusalem is more important than the American government'

10 December 2017

Washington addressed the PA warning it of the repercussions of cancelling meetings with Mike Pence, who appeared alongside Trump during his speech from the White House to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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

"The United States has crossed all the red lines with the Jerusalem decision", he added.

"We will not receive him in the Palestinian territories", Jibril Rajoub said on Thursday, a day after US President Donald Trump formally recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said he would start the process of moving its embassy there.

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In the Gaza Strip, mourners vented their anger at the funerals of two people killed by Israeli troops during clashes at the border fence on Friday and the two Hamas militants killed early on Saturday. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state. 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.

Five European countries on the Security Council insisted the new USA policy was inconsistent with past resolutions, including one that declares east Jerusalem to be Israeli-occupied.

Officials in the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah movement have announced that the Vice President is not welcome in Palestine, after the American recognition.

Israel launched fresh air strikes on the Gaza Strip on Saturday in response to rocket fire from the enclave, and the Palestinian Hamas group said two of its gunmen were killed in the bombings. Tens of thousands also protested in Muslim and Arab countries, including Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia. The loser in these multiple conflicts is the Palestinians; they are the losers against the continuation of extremist forces, such as Iran, because the latter is in fact using their pain as a pressure point.

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As reported by AFP, however, Abbas has not officially backed away from the meeting.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas issued a vociferous condemnation of Trump's announcement as a violation of "all global and bilateral agreements and resolutions", saying the move would disqualify the United States from any future role as mediator in the conflict.

Pence is expected to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories sometime before Christmas.

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Abbas' spokesman says 'Jerusalem is more important than the American government'