Ramallah, Nov 19 (IANS) Dozens of Palestinians took to the streets to protest against the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
During the demonstration in the West Bank city of al-Bireh near Ramallah, participants on Wednesday waved Palestinian flags and held banners in English and Arabic that condemned the visit, reports Xinhua news agency.
Some of the demonstrators were Palestinians who hold American citizenship.
In a statement, the American Palestinians who joined the protest said they have official documents that prove their ownership of the lands on which the settlement was built.
The Palestinians raised flags on the top of the houses opposite the Israeli settlement of Psagot that Pompeo will visit.
According to Israeli media, Pompeo will visit a winery in Psagot.
“Pompeo’s visit is not a surprise to the Palestinians since all U.S. governments were biased toward the Israeli occupation,” Mahmoud al-Aloul, deputy chief of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, told reporters.
Abdulla Abu Rahma, coordinator for the Popular Committee Against the Wall and settlements, called on the international community to stop US moves against the Palestinian people, end the Israeli occupation, and help Palestinians establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.
According to Israeli media, Pompeo would be the first US Secretary of State to visit an Israeli settlement in the West Bank and the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights during his current trip.
Israel occupied the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem in 1967, and has since built dozens of settlements on the occupied territories, all regarded by the Palestinians as illegal.
In 2019, Pompeo announced that Washington no longer considered Israeli settlements built on the Palestinian territories as inconsistent with international law.
The Palestinians want to establish an independent state on the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital by way of peace talks with the Jewish state.
The last round of peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis, sponsored by the US, broke down in 2014 because of their deep divisions on issues related to Israeli settlements and the Palestinian statehood.
The Palestinian Authority severed its diplomatic ties with the administration of US President Donald Trump after he declared Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 2017.