WATCH: Palestinian Activists Throw Eggs at U.S. Diplomats Visiting West Bank

Protesters hold signs reading, 'U.S. = ISIS,' disrupt meeting between Palestinian chamber of commerce and U.S. business delegation in protest over Trump's Jerusalem declaration

Jack Khoury
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Palestinian activists throw tomatoes at a vehicle transporting members of an American economic delegation, Bethlehem, West Bank, January 30, 2018.
Palestinian activists throw tomatoes at a vehicle transporting members of an American economic delegation, Bethlehem, West Bank, January 30, 2018.Credit: MUSA AL SHAER/AFP
Jack Khoury

Palestinian activists halted a meeting between the Palestinian Authority's chamber of commerce and representatives of the U.S. consulate in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday.

Demonstrators protesting against U.S. President Donald Trump's policy on Jerusalem threw tomatoes at the sports utility vehicle, which had U.S. consular licence plates, kicked one of its doors and ripped the plastic casing off a side mirror as it drove off under Palestinian police escort from the Bethlehem chamber of commerce.

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Samir Hazboun, the chamber's director, told Reuters that a digital marketing workshop was under way when about five protesters barged in.

Palestinian activists throw eggs at U.S. diplomats visiting West Bank

"We hosted an American expert on this issue. Some people who have been trying to express their point of view and protest (against) the American decision regarding Jerusalem and the political situation ... interrupted the workshop and we stopped the workshop," Hazboun said.

The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, which helped organize the workshop, declined immediate comment.

The U.S.-based lecturer was not a consular staff member. He was accompanied by consular security personnel and some of its Palestinian employees, organizers said.

Trump's December 6 announcement recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital overturned decades of U.S. policy that its status should be decided in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

His declaration drew universal condemnation from Arab leaders, stirred Palestinian street protests and drew widespread international criticism.

On a visit to Israel last week, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said that Trump's promised relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would take place by the end of 2019. Palestinians boycotted Pence's visit.

Israel's government regards Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the country, although that is not recognised internationally. Palestinians say East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in a 1967 war, must be the capital of a state they seek in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

In the Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem on Saturday, effigies of Trump and Pence were hanged and burned in a protest attended by about 30 Palestinians.

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