Palestine President To Shun US Vice President Mike Pence Over Jerusalem Move

The IDF warning came just one day after rocket fire from Gaza struck southern Israel amid ongoing regional tensions stemming from the United States recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

In Israel, the move was embraced as a long overdue acknowledgement of Israel's seat of parliament and government and the historic capital of the Jewish people dating back 3,000 years.

A possible meeting with Pence has also been turned down by Egypt's Coptic Church, MENA state news agency reported.

He reaffirmed that France believed that a two-state solution was the only viable option to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

Angela Merkel's spokesman said the German Chancellor "doesn't support" the U.S. decision and believes that "the status of Jerusalem needs to be negotiated" as part of talks on a two-state solution. Hundreds of Israeli Arabs protested Saturday along a major highway in northern Israel, where dozens of masked rioters hurled stones at buses and police vehicles.

The position of Jerusalem in Israel is up for debate because of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and the US government doesn't want to trample over that, the official said.

Most countries have maintained the position that decisions about Jerusalem's status should be left to future negotiations. Thirteen demonstrators were arrested and four officers were lightly injured by stones, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. In the West Bank there were dozens of injuries, but no deaths. Across the Arab and Muslim worlds, thousands more protesters had gathered to express solidarity.

The Egyptian presidential spokesman said Sunday that Sisi and Abbas agreed over the phone to strengthen contacts with different worldwide parties to explain the negative effects of the US decision.

The 73-year-old Zeman, targeting a second term from January and who had Friday said he was happy at Trump's controversial move, made Saturday's comment before delegates attending the congress of the far right Freedom and Direct Democracy party, which opposes immigration and the EU.

Erdogan has called for an emergency meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul on Wednesday to discuss the Jerusalem issue.

"Radicals and extremists will use that to fan the language of hate", Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said at the Manama Dialogue security conference in Bahrain.

  • Joey Payne