US Vice President Pence faces Middle East boycott


The vice president 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 recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Abbas's Fatah party, told AFP the same day that Pence was "not welcome in Palestine".

Egypt's Coptic Pope Tawadros II also cancelled a meeting with Pence with the church saying it "declines to receive" him in protest at Trump's announcement which failed to take into account the "feelings of millions" of Arabs.

Pence is expected to visit Israel later this month, with a stop in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

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.

Israeli forces shot large quantities of tear gas towards the crowd continuously throughout the day on the Jerusalem-Hebron road, with dozens suffering from excessive tear-gas inhalation. Tensions are running high in the occupied territories, where Hamas leader Ismail Haniya has called for a new uprising, or intifada, against Israeli rule. Shops were shuttered in Jerusalem's Old City.

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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. Scores more were wounded there and in the West Bank.

East Jerusalem has been occupied since 1967 and the United States president's declaration does not change this truth, she stressed.

"It demanded the Palestinian Authority end its continued reliance on negotiations and end security coordination with the occupier". The Palestinian Authority called for a general strike.

A top Egyptian religious leader has cancelled a planned meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence, following in the footsteps of Palestinian leadership.

The UN Security Council had held an emergency meeting on Friday in order to address the fallout from Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.