Ramallah, MINA – A senior Palestinian official has said that US Vice President Mike Pence is not welcome in the occupied territories during his scheduled visit later this month.
“We will not receive him in the Palestinian territories,” Jibril Rajoub said on Thursday, a day after US President Donald Trump formally recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Al Jazeera was quoted by MINA as reporting.
The controversial decision has sparked anger and protests throughout the occupied Palestinian territories, and drawn international condemnation from world leaders.
The embassy move breaks with decades of US policy and risks igniting a “powder keg” in the Middle East region, analysts say.
Pence is expected to visit Israel later this month, with a stop in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.
A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera on Friday that Pence still “intends” to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, noting it “would be counterproductive” for the Palestinian leader to cancel the meeting.
Trump’s embassy move has inflamed the Israel-Palestine conflict, in which the status of Jerusalem is a key issue.
The Palestinians see occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. (T/RI-1/RS5)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)