Pence: US Embassy in Jerusalem by end of 2019

Pence: US Embassy in Jerusalem by end of 2019

Pence: US Embassy in Jerusalem by end of 2019

Palestinians also claim part of Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

US Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial on Monday, his second day of a visit to Israel. "Our message to President (Mahmoud) Abbas and the Palestinian Authority is: The door's open".

At the Knesset, Pence affirmed the US's support of Israel and urged the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table, and said the "shehechiyanu" blessing to thank God for for the occasion.

Palestinians say President Donald Trump's December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital - a theme Pence invoked multiple times during his visit - disqualifies the U.S.as a peace broker. The U.S. previously backed the current global consensus not to move embassies there because the city's status should be negotiated by Israelis and Palestinians.

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Pence and Netanyahu talked privately in the prime minister's personal office for about 40 minutes, more the twice the amount of time originally scheduled for the meeting.

Even though Israel has fully controlled the city since 1967, and moved most of its government institutions there, no country has moved its embassy from Tel-Aviv or has accepted to call Jerusalem Israel's capital. It was part of an exceptionally warm welcome for Pence in Israel, which has been overjoyed by Trump's pivot on Jerusalem. Its leader, Ayman Odeh, vowed they would not provide a "silent backdrop" to a man he called a "dangerous racist".

Abbas said the Palestinians were still "keen on continuing on the way of negotiations" and committed to "fighting terrorism, violence and extremism locally, regionally and internationally".

The devout Christian's speech to the Israeli parliament on Monday laden with biblical references was praised by Israelis as perhaps the best they could ever hope for from a United States administration, but Palestinians saw it as confirming some of their worst fears.

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Only nine countries€including the U.S. and Israel€voted against the resolution.

Speaking previously, Odeh said that members of the Arab party would walk out when Pence comes to speak in the Knesset "in order to deliver a message that there are many citizens here opposed to Trump's recognition announcement, and to emphasize that the USA has lost its status as the sole custodian of negotiations".

The Palestinians have refused to meet with Pence. The Palestinian leadership has said it will not accept the Trump administration as a mediator in peace talks with Israel and wants an internationally led process.

The remarks came as Mr Pence wrapped up his visit to Israel. Asked how important it was to him, Netanyahu said "very".

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The FPA, which represents some 400 journalists working for worldwide media in Israel and the Palestinian territories, accused Israel of ethnic profiling and called the Israeli practice of strip-searching journalists a "mark of shame" aimed at intimidating reporters.

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