A Palestinian crowd attacked American diplomats to protest the recent move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
By: AP and United with Israel Staff
An angry crowd of Palestinian protesters on Monday pelted American diplomats with eggs in Beit Jala, on the outskirts of Bethlehem, to protest the recent move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem.
The incident drew a stern American response and deepened a crisis in relations that has followed the December decision by the US to move its embassy to Israel’s capital. The Palestinian leadership has since been boycotting Washington.
The State Department said the diplomats were on a visit to “promote educational and cultural exchange” in the area when they came under attack.
“The objective was clearly intimidation. The United States absolutely opposes the use of violence and intimidation to express political views,” the statement said.
The protesters gathered as members of the delegation from the US Consulate in Jerusalem walked to their vehicle. The crowd held signs and shouted at the Americans before throwing eggs at their car as they drove away. No one was injured.
“We are here to say to the American Embassy, ‘No we don’t need you. Leave Palestine and leave Jerusalem and leave the embassy,'” said Palestinian protester Muhannad al-Said.
This comes just one week after the US Embassy to Israel was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Violence and Intimidation
This is not the first time that US diplomats have been assaulted by Palestinians while acting for their benefit.
In January, a delegation of US diplomats was forced to cut short a business event in Bethlehem and flee the city after violent Palestinian protesters stormed the workshop.
The Palestinian mob threw tomatoes at the delegation’s car as they left and kicked the vehicles.
The US-sponsored training session for local business people was about digital commerce.
A State Department spokesperson stated at the time that “the United States opposes the use of violence and intimidation to express political views. This non-political program was one part of long-term US engagement to create economic opportunities for Palestinians.”
Similarly, Palestinians periodically hang and burn effigies of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during anti-US demonstrations.
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