Middle East

Fatah calls for protests against US Vice President Mike Pence’s Jerusalem visit

Mourners from different factions united in its opposition to Trump's decision to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel (AFP)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction on Saturday called for demonstrations next week when US Vice President Mike Pence visits Jerusalem, as tensions continue to rise in the city.

The announcements come after four Palestinians were killed and hundreds injured in Gaza and the West Bank during the second week of protests against America's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The move broke decades of US policy and has stirred global condemnation across the world.

It also prompted Abbas to cancel a meeting with Pence, who arrives Wednesday in Jerusalem, and warn that Washington no longer had a role to play in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.

Fatah called for a day of "protests" on Wednesday near Jerusalem and the Old City "against the visit of the American vice-president and Trump's decision" to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a statement said.

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Israel's Jerusalem victory looks increasingly hollow

Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees the whole of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.

The call to protest came as thousands of Palestinians took part in funerals for two of four men killed Friday in clashes with Israeli forces during protests in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip.

Mourners chanted anti-Trump slogans and masked men fired into the air during one of the ceremonies in the village of Beit Ula, located between Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Funerals were also held for the two other Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza after they were shot dead protesting against the US policy change on Jerusalem.

One of those killed was Ibrahim Abu Thuraya, a Palestinian who lost his legs in an Israeli attack a decade ago, who, with his wheelchair, was a regular feature at protests along Gaza's border with Israel.

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