Palestinians decision to snub VP Pence 'unfortunate', White House says


Trump's recognition of Jerusalem has infuriated the Arab world and upset Western allies, who say it is a blow to peace efforts and risks causing further unrest in the Middle East.

In Cairo, the head of Egypt's largest Christian church announced he would not meet US Vice President Mike Pence when he visits Cairo on December 20.

In more than two years of intermittent attacks, Palestinians have killed more than 50 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British tourist in stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks. "This is the result of the intervention of Israeli forces against Palestinians protesting in the occupied territories following the [U.S.] announcement on Jerusalem, which contradicts global law and all related United Nations decisions", the statement said.

Mr Netanyahu said: "Paris is the capital of France, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel - it has been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and the capital of the Jewish state for 70 years".

The Hamas health ministry in Gaza said the two men killed on Saturday were in the movement's armed wing, which has fought three wars with Israel since 2008.

Trump said his defiant move - making good on a 2016 presidential campaign pledge - marked the start of a "new approach" to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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. Thirteen demonstrators were arrested and four officers were lightly injured by stones, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The protests were the third and biggest in Indonesia since Trump's decision on Thursday. Across the Arab and Muslim worlds, thousands more protesters had gathered to express solidarity.

The French President reaffirmed his "disapproval of Mr Trump's controversial move, saying the United States had "unilaterally recognised something that is not complying with the worldwide law".

At the news conference, Macron reiterated his opposition to the USA policy, telling journalists he "told Netanyahu that Trump's statement on Jerusalem is a threat to peace and we are against it".

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

He said: 'Trump seeks to move forwards by saying "there we go, I did it, it's done!".