Netanyahu defends Jerusalem move ahead of Paris visit

Netanyahu defends Jerusalem move ahead of Paris visit

Ronald Pratt
December 11, 2017

"It's unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region, but the administration remains undeterred in its efforts to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians and our peace team remains hard at work putting together a plan", said Jarrod Agen, a deputy chief of staff and spokesman for Pence.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Moscow is "seriously concerned" over Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to critics in a statement before meetings in Paris on Sunday with French President Emmanuel Macron to be followed by a meeting with European foreign ministers in Brussels.

Pence was scheduled to meet Abbas later this month as a part of his Middle East tour. Thousands of Palestinians later marched in funerals for the two men.

Rockets were fired from Gaza and Israeli warplanes carried out raids on the territory.

Observers in Jerusalem have noted that the Turkish president is trying to "ride" the issue into a leadership position on the Arab and Muslim street, similar to what he did following the Mavi Marmara flotilla incident in 2010 when he became the temporary darling of the Muslim world for his tough rhetoric and confrontational approach to Israel.

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In East Jerusalem about 60 people demonstrated near the walled Old City, where paramilitary border police and officers on horseback tried to disperse the crowd with tear gas. In the West Bank there were dozens of injuries, but no deaths. It also raised questions about how Israel could so aggressively oppose global boycott campaigns against it while one of its most senior ministers called for one against its own citizens.

Protests also were reported in several Arab communities inside Israel.

Although the resolution did not include any sort of economic sanctions, it urged the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution condemning President Trump's decision.

Erdogan also spoke to the presidents of Kazakhstan, Lebanon and Azerbaijan on Saturday, the source said.

"For those who want to say this is a bad idea, I'll tell you: Ask us five or 10 years from now if you still think it's a bad idea".