World News

Palestinians must face reality over Jerusalem - Netanyahu

Palestinians must face reality over Jerusalem - Netanyahu

New protests flared in the Middle East and elsewhere Sunday over US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a move that has drawn global condemnation and sparked days of unrest in the Palestinian territories.

The foreign ministers of the 22-member states of the Arab League met for an emergency meeting at their headquarters in Cairo on Saturday. Across the Arab and Muslim worlds, thousands more protesters had gathered to express solidarity.

Acting Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield told Arab journalists that Trump's pronouncement was merely a "recognition of simple reality" that Israel's government already is in Jerusalem.

Thousands of protesters in Muslim-majority countries in Asia have rallied in recent days to condemn the US move. Thirteen demonstrators were arrested and four officers were lightly injured by stones, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Vice President Mike Pence's office confirmed Sunday that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not meet with Pence during his upcoming trip to the Middle East following the Trump administration's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. He called Israeli forces "terrorists", referring to a photograph of a blindfolded Palestinian youth being led away by more than a dozen soldiers in the West Bank.

The joint appearance by the two men, following talks in Paris, came after tear gas was used to disperse protesters outside the USA embassy in Beirut and a Palestinian man stabbed an Israeli security guard at Jerusalem's central bus station in the first attack in the city since Trump's announcement.

Trump's announcement has also upset USA allies in the West.

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The two leaders agreed during a phone call that the move is worrisome for the region, the source said, adding that Turkey and France would make a joint effort to try to reverse the USA decision.

In Rome, Pope Francis called Sunday for "wisdom and prudence", asking world leaders "to avert a new spiral of violence".

"And I think we have to wait to see whether the interested parties accept it or not".

The decision is a departure from a decades-old position by most countries that Jerusalem's fate would be decided in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians as part of a peace agreement. "I am not prepared to accept this hypocrisy".

Palestinians took to the streets after the USA announcement.

As Jerusalem lies at the centre of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Trump's move, regardless of his statement that he believed in a two-state solution, was perceived as siding with Israel.


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