Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah faction yesterday called for a massive demonstration next week to protest against a visit to Jerusalem by US Vice President Mike Pence after Washington said it would recognise the holy city as Israel’s capital, AFP reports.
Breaking with decades of US policy, President Donald Trump also said on December 6 that he would move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The move has stirred global condemnation and sparked angry protests across Arab and Muslim countries, as well as deadly clashes in the occupied territories between Palestinians and Israeli forces.
It also prompted Abbas to cancel a meeting with Pence, who arrives Wednesday in Jerusalem, and warn that Washington no longer had a role to play in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most controversial issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees the whole of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.
The call to protest came as thousands of Palestinians took part in funerals for four men killed Friday in clashes with Israeli forces during protests in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.
Mourners chanted anti-Trump slogans and masked men fired into the air during one of the ceremonies in the village of Beit Ula in the occupied West Bank. Funerals were also held for the two other Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza.
Friday’s deaths brought to eight the number of Palestinians killed in violence or air strikes since Trump’s Jerusalem move.
Pence will no longer see Palestinian officials during his visit to the region after they cancelled meetings in protest at the embassy move.