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Fatah Calls for 'Angry Protests' During Pence Visit to Jerusalem


FILE - Masked Palestinian militants from Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a militia linked to the Fatah movement, give a press conference to condemn the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, in Gaza City, Dec. 7, 2017.

The political party of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has called for "angry protests" during the visit to Jerusalem next week of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

"We call for angry protests at the entrances to Jerusalem and in its Old City to coincide with the visit on Wednesday of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and to protest against [U.S. President Donald] Trump's decision," Fatah said Saturday.

Trump angered Palestinians this month when he announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing a delicate policy that has been in place for decades. Palestinian leaders reacted by canceling their plans to meet with Pence. He is still expected to meet with Israeli officials.

Both Palestinians and Israelis claim Jerusalem as their true capital. But the dispute over Jerusalem has meant that government functions are conducted elsewhere: Tel Aviv, for Israel, Ramallah, for the Palestinian National Authority.

Trump's announcement was met with anger in Palestinian communities, spurring thousands of Palestinians in the Middle East and elsewhere to stage demonstrations against the decision.

FILE - Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Dec. 11, 2017, as demonstrations continued to flare in the Middle East and elsewhere over U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
FILE - Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian protesters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Dec. 11, 2017, as demonstrations continued to flare in the Middle East and elsewhere over U.S. President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump also announced the U.S. Embassy would move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, further fraying the nerves of Palestinians and their supporters. Israel's diplomatic community is based in Tel Aviv, although some nations, including the United States, have consulates in Jerusalem.

U.N. resolution

In the United Nations, Egypt was said to be circulating among members of the Security Council a draft resolution that would render null any decisions on Jerusalem's legal status. The measure was expected to go to a vote as early as next week.

Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the U.N., has condemned the draft resolution.

“As Jews around the world are celebrating Hanukah, the liberation of Jerusalem 2,000 years ago, the Palestinians continue to try to reinvent history,” Danon said in a statement. “No vote or debate will change the clear reality that Jerusalem has and always will be the capital of Israel. Together with our allies, we will continue to fight, once again, for historical truth.”

Reuters news service said the measure had broad support among Security Council members. But as one of five permanent members of the Security Council, the United States could veto the bill and ensure its failure.

A resolution in the 15-member Security Council needs nine "yes" votes to pass. But any one of the five permanent members — the U.S., France, Britain, Russia and China — can defeat a resolution with a single "no" vote.

On Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said two Palestinian protesters died in clashes with Israeli soldiers at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

A third incident was reported north of Jerusalem, with the person shot in the chest by Israeli troops, according to the health ministry.

Police said a fourth Palestinian was fatally shot after stabbing an Israeli border police officer near a checkpoint on the outskirts of Ramallah.

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