Mauritanians hit streets to decry USA shift on Jerusalem

Trump's second-in-command Pence 'unwelcome in Palestine': Fatah official

Palestinian officials said Pence had been due to meet Abbas on December 19.

Ramallah: A senior Palestinian official said Thursday that US Vice President Mike Pence was "not welcome in Palestine" during his upcoming regional visit after a White House decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, AFP reported.

Trump's embassy move has inflamed the Israel-Palestine conflict, in which the status of Jerusalem is a key issue.

The annoucement drew criticism from every other member of the UN Security Council at an emergency meeting on Friday.

"The United States has crossed all the red lines with the Jerusalem decision", Mr Khaldi added.

Earlier, Egypt's Coptic Church head Pope Tawadros II, according to Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency, had refused to meet Pence over the same row.

"Jerusalem is more important than the American government and we will not give up on it in exchange for a meeting with the United States vice president", Nabil Abu Rudeineh was quoted as saying on Al Jazeera's Twitter page.

In the occupied West Bank, Palestinians set fire to tires and threw stones and firebombs at Israeli troops, who responded with tear gas, water cannons, rubber bullets and, in a few instances, live fire.

A police statement said four policemen were slightly injured and 13 protesters arrested. Tensions are running high in the occupied territories, where Hamas leader Ismail Haniya has called for a new uprising, or intifada, against Israeli rule.

Pence is scheduled to visit Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt in next week's swing through the region.

In an Arabic-language Facebook post on Saturday, a senior Israeli military officer warned the people of Gaza.

Trump's decision drew lavish praise from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but has sparked a worldwide diplomatic backlash.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas issued a vociferous condemnation of Trump's announcement as a violation of "all global and bilateral agreements and resolutions", saying the move would disqualify the United States from any future role as mediator in the conflict.

"It has been consistent opinion of the world community, United Nations bodies and India that Jerusalem was occupied by Israel in the 1967 June war and it is an occupied territory", he added.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said in a statement on Saturday the group "reiterated its commitment to all that has been signed and agreed upon and the completion of the handover".

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