Abbas wins renewed European Union backing for Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem

Pence to Jordanian king US committed to Israeli Palestinian peace

Pence kicks off Israel visit with Netanyahu meeting

Vice President Mike Pence has kicked off a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Mr Pence will address the Israeli parliament later on Monday, but his speech will be boycotted by Israeli Arab politicians, who call him "dangerous and messianic".

It was briefly interrupted when about a dozen Arab-Israeli lawmakers held up signs and shouted in protest of President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Pence called Trump's Jerusalem move a "historic decision" but said the United States respected Jordan's role as custodian of the city's holy sites.

"Jerusalem is Israel's capital and, as such, President Trump has directed the State Department to immediately begin preparations to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem", he told the Knesset.

In Brussels, the EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini said the aim was "to support an global framework to accompany direct negotiations", despite the USA decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

After Trump's announcement on Jerusalem, Abbas said he would not meet with administration officials and called off a meeting with Pence that had been scheduled for mid-December.

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Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas will ask the European Union to officially recognise the state of Palestine when he meets foreign ministers from the bloc on Monday, a senior official said on Sunday.

Ayman Odeh, an Israeli-Arab member of the Knesset, said it was "a strong and legitimate protest against the [President] Trump-Netanyahu regime, against an extreme right that glorifies racism and hate and speaks of peace as lip-service but does anything in its power to further push away peace", according to Haaretz. He is expected to encourage increased mediation from European Union countries in addition to recognition of a Palestinian state along pre-1967 war lines.

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been working for months with a small team to develop a new U.S. proposal to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but no details or even news of progress have emerged.

Younan said he supports a just solution to the conflict with Israel, including the establishment of a Palestinian state in the lands Israel captured in 1967 - east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Pence has received a warm welcome in Israel, which has praised the American decision last month to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Pence told his Israeli hosts that the US Embassy would move to Jerusalem by the end of 2019, that the Trump Administration would never let Iran obtain nuclear weapons, and that it is pressing the Palestinians to return to peace negotiations on Israel's terms.

Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been working for months with a small team to develop a new USA proposal to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but no details or even news of progress have emerged.

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"If the Europeans want to be a player then they have to be fair in their treatment of both parties and this should start with the recognition of the state of Palestine", Malki said.

"Those are subject to negotiation", Pence said. "And Israel has no greater friend than the United States of America", he said.

The strike was timed to coincide with the final day of US Vice President Mike Pence's visit to Jerusalem.

The Palestinians say the United States can not be a mediator and have pre-emptively rejected any peace proposal the White House offers.

Indeed, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who to my eyes appears to be some kind of soulmate to President Trump, said his country would "spare no effort" in working toward a two-state solution.

In protest of Pence's arrival in Israel, several Palestinian protesters burned a photo of the vice president Sunday night at a small demonstration in the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

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