Anti-Trump protest: ‘You are not welcome here’ | US delegation thrown out of Bethlehem
Jerusalem, Jan 31: Frustrated over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, protestors chased out a group of U.S. diplomats from the Palestinian town of Bethlehem on Tuesday.
While chasing them, demonstrators shouted, “You are not welcome anymore!” Protestors broke into a training session organized by the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem and held at Bethlehem’s chamber of commerce and industry, an event aimed to educate local businesses on the benefits of social media, wherein an American expert had been scheduled to speak.
“America = ISIS = Terror” read one sign held by a protestor, with a picture of Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The men pelted the U.S. delegation’s car with tomatoes as it drove off, and broke off a wing mirror.
The State Department has restricted personal travel for its staff in Palestinian areas since Trump’s decision in December to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That move was met with anger across the occupied West Bank and Gaza, with Palestinians complaining that it denied their claim to the city, the eastern half of which they hope to see as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the decision meant the United States could no longer be seen as an honest broker in the peace process. Earlier this month, the United States sliced its aid to the Palestinians, further fueling anti-U.S. sentiment.