It became known when the US Embassy moved to Jerusalem

Posted January 25, 2018

But Pence said Palestinians hold all the cards to jump-start peace talks that fell apart in 2014.

Speaking at the panel via a recorded video message, Julie Ward, a member of the European Parliament from the Labour Party, underlined that since U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel on December 6, there has been an increase in violent actions by Israel's occupying forces against the Palestinians.

Abu Ahmed, who works at a souvenir shop in the Old City, told MEE: "This [strike] is the least we can do to deliver our message to the American government and the American people regarding the issue of Jerusalem".

Pence told the AP the administration was "exploring a range of options" on where to locate the embassy.

In recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the the first country to do so since the state was established in 1948.

Striking a touching note, Abbas said the European Union had contributed and continues to contribute to the building of the state of Palestine and its institutions with financial and economic support.

Despite the pandemonium, Pence expressed hope in an interview with the Associated Press after the speech that the Palestinians would re-enter negotiations. He said the two leaders had agreed to convey to the Palestinians that the United States was eager to resume peace talks.

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Pence also said the USA would support a two-state approach which covers the establishment of an independent Palestine beside the state of Israel. They have said they will reject any peace plan the Trump administration presents.

Netanyahu thanked Trump and Pence for what he called the "historic statement" and declared the U.S. -Israel relationship has "never been stronger".

"America has no greater friend than Israel, and Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America", he said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, shakes hands with Israel President Reuven Rivlin during a formal reception ceremony at the President's residence in Jerusalem, Tuesday Jan. 23, 2018.

Since Trump's Jerusalem move, PA President Mahmoud Abbas has become increasingly unhinged and hostile toward the United States. Those talks have been stalled for nearly four years.

The Palestinians claim Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital. He acknowledged that Trump's top two peace-brokers - Jason Greenblatt, special USA representative in the region, and Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner - had not spoken to Palestinian leaders since the embassy announcement.

"The Jerusalem declaration restated in Pence's intensely pro-Israeli speech without meaningful reference to Palestinian interests makes it near impossible for Israel and the Palestinians to reach consensus", White said. The visit was billed as "private", and no other Israeli politicians were in attendance.

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Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, said it was the party's democratic right to boycott the speech by the USA vice president. Its leader, Ayman Odeh, vowed they would not provide a "silent backdrop" to a man he called a "dangerous racist". They listened as a military band played "The Star Spangled Banner", America's national anthem, followed by "Hatikvah", which is Israel's.

Female journalists found themselves cordoned off behind their male colleagues while covering Vice President Mike Pence's trip to the Western Wall in Jerusalem Tuesday.

Pence aides called it "a personal visit", in the same manner in which President Donald Trump prayed there during his visit to Israel previous year.

You do wonder at what point American Evangelicals will begin to notice or care about the long-standing antipathy of their Middle Eastern co-religionists toward current Israeli policy - and toward Donald J. Trump. May God demolish your home.

The Palestinians are furious at Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Palestinians say the United States can not be a mediator and have pre-emptively rejected any peace proposal the White House offers. Aides say it was the fourth visit to Israel for both.

Pence signed the Knesset guest book on Monday and laid a wreath for the fallen soldier at its entrance plaza. It was part of an exceptionally warm welcome for Pence in Israel, which has been overjoyed by Trump's pivot on Jerusalem. When the protest intensified the Arab MPs were forcibly removed from the Israeli parliament with the help of security staff.

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So, Pence's trip has turned into a combination of damage-control meetings with the leaders of Egypt and Jordan, and an extended pep rally with the Netanyahu government of Israel.