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Palestinians recall their envoy to the United States

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Palestinians recall their envoy to the United States

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visits the grave of Yasser Arafat
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The Palestinian envoy to the United States is being recalled for "consultations".

There is no more information than that at present. The announcement comes weeks after Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa says the foreign minister of the territories, Riad al-Maliki, is recalling envoy Husam Zomlot.

On Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Jerusalem the "eternal capital of the Palestinian people."

What reactions has the Trump announcement prompted so far?

Many, but there are two main ones:

  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will not accept any US-brokered peace plan in the wake of the US president's decision.

  • A UN resolution calling on the US to cancel its action was overwhelmingly backed by the organisation's General Assembly in New York.

Has there been any violence?

Yes.

Protests and clashes broke out in the Gaza Strip in the wake of the announcement in early December.

13 Palestinians have died since that time, mostly in clashes with Israeli security forces.

Why is Jerusalem such a flashpoint?

The status of the city goes right to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This is because:

Israel regards the entire city as its capital and says it cannot be divided. Israeli forces occupied the east of the city in the 1967 Middle East War. Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem has never been recognised internationally.

The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Its final status forms part of the latter stages of peace talks.