U.S. vice-president Mike Pence is not welcome, say senior Palestinian officials


According to Palestine's official Wafa news agency, the two men discussed the implications of U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement America would relocate its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestinian officials reportedly say they will not meet with Vice President Pence when he travels to the region later this month, following the Trump administration's change in policy toward Jerusalem.

A spokesperson for the vice president did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment.

A senior Palestinian official says the Palestinians will not meet with Vice President Mike Pence during his upcoming visit to the region because of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. He would be the first senior US official to do so since former President George W. Bush in 2008. More demonstrations were expected in the region on Friday with Israel deploying hundreds of extra troops in the West Bank.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - now occupied by Israel - might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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Mr Trump's move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel sparked Palestinian protests, sporadic clashes and a call for a new intifada as fears grew of fresh bloodshed in the region.

Israel has long considered Jerusalem its capital, though the worldwide community has declined for decades to recognize the city as such.

On Wednesday, the US president announced his decision - despite widespread opposition across the Middle East - to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Malaysia's Foreign Ministry said in the latest statement that the country is "extremely concerned" over the USA announcement, saying that the decision would "jeopardize all efforts made towards finding a comprehensive and lasting resolution of Palestinian question".