Palestinian leader won't meet Pence in snub over Jerusalem move


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will not meet US Vice President Mike Pence later this month following Washington's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The protests came after Trump officially declared the disputed city of al-Quds Israel's capital, despite warnings from around the world that the measure risks triggering a fresh wave of violence in the Middle East.

The Arab League's spokesman Mahmoud Afify said on Saturday that the Arab League (AL) called on the USA administration to reverse its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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

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A White House official said however that the USA official is still determined to meet Abbas as scheduled.

"We will seek a new mediator from our Arab brothers and the worldwide community, a mediator who can help with reaching a two-state solution", al-Maliki said.

"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.

White House officials could not immediately be reached for comment and State Department officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Palestinian Authority called for a general strike.

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In the West Bank city of Bethlehem, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of Bethlehem on Saturday morning.

However, Palestinian protests on Saturday were less intense than on the previous two days.

A Middle East Eye reporter on the scene witnessed two demonstrators being taken away by ambulances for treatment, and at least one instance of rubber-coated bullets being shot towards some protesters early in the morning.

A Palestinian woman was wounded by Israeli army fire during clashes at the border following one funeral attended by thousands in the Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis. Scores more were wounded there and in the West Bank.

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