Palestinian Authority condemns assault on U.S. delegation in Bethlehem

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-31 04:57:20|Editor: yan
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RAMALLAH, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Tuesday condemned the assault on a U.S. diplomatic delegation by Palestinian protesters in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The office of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that it rejects "such actions that don't belong to the Palestinian ethics and tradition."

Earlier Tuesday, a group of angry Palestinians protested against the visit of the delegation from the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem to the office of Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.

The delegation was there to hold a training session for local business people about digital commerce.

They chanted anti-U.S. slogans as the delegation entered the office building, and threw shoes and tomatoes at them on their way out.

Tensions have been rising between the U.S. and the Palestinians after U.S. President Donald Trump announced last December to recognize the disputed holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, while ordering to move the U.S. embassy to the city.

Israel took over East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, and later declared the whole city of Jerusalem, revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims as a holy city, as its capital. But the Israeli move has not been accepted by the international community, as the Palestinians aspire to build an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas said Trump's Jerusalem decision made the U.S. irrelevant to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which used to be sponsored mainly by Washington in order to reach a final peace settlement. Diplomatic efforts have been made by the Palestinians to challenge the U.S. decision.

The Palestinians also boycotted last week the visit of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence who visited Jerusalem to reaffirm the Trump administration's solidarity with Israel.