Palestinian president to snub US vice president during visit

US president Donald Trump has said that the US would be recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, effectively signalling the US no longer believes in a two-state solution

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will not meet US vice president Mike Pence during his visit to the Jerusalem and the region later this month, over the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The announcement was made by the Palestinian foreign minister on Saturday as protests and violence continued to erupt in Gaza.

The move by the US effectively reverses decades of US policy in support of a two-state solution for the region.

President Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem has infuriated much of the Arab world, and has also elicited condemnation from many western allies who view the move as one that strikes a heavy blow to peace efforts in the region.

In a statement released following an emergency session in Cairo, The Arab League called Trump’s announcement a “dangerous violation of international law” which had no legal impact and was void.

Reacting to the statement Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that while he had heard condemnation from Europe over Trump’s “historic announcement”, he had not heard any condemnation “for the rocket firing against Israel” since the announcement.

Meanwhile, Israeli air strikes killed two Palestinian gunmen on Saturday after militants fired rockets from the enclave into Israel on Friday, which had been declared a “day of rage” by Palestinian factions.