World News

Pence to Israel: US embassy will move to Jerusalem in 2019

Pence to Israel: US embassy will move to Jerusalem in 2019

Recognition of the Palestinian state was not on offer on Monday, but European Union ministers, eager to show their continued support for a two-state solution in the wake of what many fear is a repudiation of a long-standing global consensus by USA president Donald Trump, supported opening up formal talks on a new association agreement between the European Union and the Palestinian Authority.

"Jerusalem is Israel's capital and, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to immediately begin preparations to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem", he told the Knesset.

Speaking late on Sunday, one of the Arab legislators who participated in the protest at the start of Mr Pence's speech, Yusuf Jabareen, told The National: "The Trump-Pence declaration goes against global law and consensus about Jerusalem, so our stand comes to send a message to the American administration, Israel and the worldwide community that we stick to the two-state solution with East Jerusalem as capital of Palestine and reject the Trump declaration".

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, an Abbas adviser, reiterated that the United States "is no longer acceptable as a mediator" in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Palestinian members of the Israeli parliament have been forcibly removed from the chamber after staging a protest at the start of US Vice President Mike Pence's speech.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from West Jerusalem, said the Palestinian members of the Knesset had warned that they would protest against Pence's speech.

"Today we strongly urge the Palestinian leadership to return to the table", he said. "Peace can only come through dialogue". He and other gave Pence a standing ovation.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Press Association, representing global journalists covering Israel and the Palestinian territories, protested what it called "clear ethnic profiling" by Israeli security officials of a journalist of Palestinian descent from Finland's state broadcaster covering Pence's visit.

More news: Earnings Analysis Of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)

Yet Pence, in an interview with The Associated Press after the speech, said he remained hopeful that the Palestinians would re-enter negotiations.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Pence for being "a great friend of Israel" and noted that it was the stand with another leader who could "say those three words, 'Israel's capital, Jerusalem'".

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly condemned and rejected Trump's decision, saying, among other things, that it would aid extremist organizations to wage holy wars. The Palestinian state would be demilitarized albeit with a strong police force, and the Jewish state would maintain ultimate military control.

Before Abbas' arrival, she was more outspoken, saying: "Clearly there is a problem with Jerusalem".

"Pence, who is an evangelical Christian, has been an Israel supporter for years".

Palestinians demonstrate against US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Israel in the West Bank city of Nablus on January 22, 2018.

Evans also presented the Friends of Zion award to Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales last week for his country's decision to follow suit and move its embassy to Jerusalem.