Mahmoud Abbas urges European Union to 'swiftly recognise' Palestine

Pence arrives in Israel as Trump's Jerusalem move reverberates

Pence arrives in Israel as Trump's Jerusalem move reverberates

Vice President Mike Pence announced Monday that the US embassy in Israel will move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2019.

The US Embassy in Israel will move to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, US Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech to the Israeli parliament on Monday that highlighted a policy shift that has stoked Palestinian anger and worldwide concern.

Palestinians leaders boycotted Pence's visit amid continued anger at the United States decision last month to relocate the embassy and recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Mike Pence's visit is overshadowed by the tensions caused by Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The US vice-president defended Mr Trump's decision to break with worldwide consensus in his address to the Knesset (parliament) on Monday, saying it had "made history" and "righted a 70-year wrong". "But as President Trump made clear, this is the last time", he said, adding that the U.S. was working on other ways to curb Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile program.

The United States will transfer its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem and open a new facility next year, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told Israeli lawmakers on Monday. Alon Pinkas, a former Israeli diplomat, argued that Pence, an evangelical Christian, loves Israel for religious reasons which may not be well-received by Jews. "Peace can only come through dialogue".

Now, the administration seems set to massively accelerate plans to relocate the embassy, moving up the date from an unstated time in the distant future to next year.

Its leader, Ayman Odeh, vowed they would not provide a "silent backdrop" to a man he called a "dangerous racist".

He was responding to reports that Trump, in a private meeting with legislators earlier this month, challenged immigration from "shithole" African countries, disparaged Haiti and said the US should welcome more immigrants from countries like Norway.

You Can Now Find Portrait Paintings That Resemble You, Thanks To Google
The initiative today incorporates work from over thousands of museums from across 70 countries. As it is an experimental feature, it might be witnessing a gradual rollout to other regions.

Protesters chanted against President Donald Trump and stepped on pictures of Pence in a sign of anger.

Christians make up a small minority of the overwhelmingly Muslim Palestinian population in the West Bank, but relations between the two religious groups are typically cordial and tolerant - unlike in conflict-battered Iraq and Syria, where Islamic State extremists have persecuted Christians.

It also broke with decades of US policy that the city's status must be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said Pence's speech on Monday "has proven that the US administration is part of the problem rather than the solution".

Most of the European leaders Abbas was meeting with Monday favor the emergence of the status of Jerusalem to be linked directly to a plan that will result in two states - Israel and Palestine - coexisting in the lands that both now contest.

Mr Coveney deplored the expected U.S. decision to hold back some $65 million in funding for Unwra, which, he said, played a key humanitarian role throughout the region.

Pence's remarks came following a speech on Sunday to US troops in the Middle East.

"I am here to convey one simple message: America stands with Israel".

Netanyahu has said he expected at least an interim arrangement to go into effect very soon, perhaps within a year.

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