A delegation of U.S. officials on their way to an event in the occupied West Bank on Monday were most certainly not welcome as their convoy was met with a volley of eggs and Palestinians holding signs while entering the town of Beit Jala, outside Bethlehem.
According to a photographer at the scene, the angered residents held up signs that read: “US government you are not welcome in Palestine” and “Hey Trump, Jerusalem is not the capital of Zion.”
The display of animous towards the delegation came exactly one week after the Trump administration officially moved the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem—a move seen as a direct assault on the so-called “peace process” and the demand that East Jerusalem ultimately become the future capital of an independent Palestinian state.
Both the Israeli government and its U.S. backers are under fire by human rights organizations and the international legal community for the ongoing occupation as well as the killing of more than 60 people by IDF soldiers who opened fire on demonstrators in Gaza, also last Monday.
Issam Younis, general director of the Gaza-based Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, condemned what many characterized as a massacre carried out by the Israeli government and also put the onus squarely on the U.S government which offers the Israelis both military aid and unwavering political backing despite what legal experts say amount to war crimes against the Palestinian people.
“Palestinians have raised their voices in peaceful demand of their basic human rights and an end to the closure and blockade of Gaza that maintains their dire living conditions; Israel responded by deploying snipers to fire onto unarmed protesters,” said Younis. “The use of lethal and other excessive force is a serious violation of international law, yet our efforts to challenge the policy from within Israel have been met with support for the status quo. The U.S. must therefore implement its own laws and refuse to enable the continuation of the open-fire policy through its military aid.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian leadership of Fatah has frozen ties with the White House over its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas said that by moving U.S. embassy, Trump had “canceled [the U.S.] role in the peace process” and called the building itself a “new settlement” in Jerusalem.
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