Arab FMs arrive in Egypt for Jerusalem meeting

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JERUSALEM (AP) Developments on Saturday, Dec. 9, about the fallout from the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (all times Israel Standard Time).

  • 7:15 p.m.

Arab foreign ministers arrived in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, to attend an emergency meeting to formulate a unified response to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The ministerial meeting brought together foreign ministers from Arab League member-states and was scheduled to open in Cairo.

The meeting takes place amid a wave of anger at the U.S. president’s decision, which sparked three days of street protests in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In Cairo, the heads of the largest Christian church and the Al-Azhar, the world’s top seat of learning for Sunni Muslims, have announced they would not meet U.S. Vice President Mike Pence when he visited Cairo Dec. 20.

Hundreds also protested President Trump’s decision at Al-Azhar mosque on Friday.

  • 7:00 p.m.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated in Paris against the imminent arrival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The protest organizers said Netanyahu’s visit Sunday to meet French President Emmanuel Macron is not welcome — especially following this week’s declaration by President Trump. Macron called the decision “regrettable.”

Tensions grew at the Place de la Republique demonstration when pro-Israeli protestors approached the rally brandishing Israeli and US flags. The police separated both groups and no further incidents were reported.

The rally was organized by a broad coalition of associations.

  • 6:20 p.m.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry has condemned Israel’s use of force against Palestinians protesting the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as “excessive” and “disproportionate.”

In a statement, ministry officials indicated that they felt “huge sadness and worry” after four people were killed and hundreds injured in Israeli law enforcement’s intervention on Palestinians protesting in the “occupied lands.”

The statement said the U.S. decision stood contrary to international law and United Nations resolutions on the status of Jerusalem.

Turkey has strongly denounced President Trump’s announcement, calling it a “red line” and moved to convene the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in an extraordinary congress Wednesday.

  • 5:30 p.m.

Hundreds of Palestinians and their supporters have rallied in Rome to protest President Trump’s decision.

The protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Rome, also drew American citizens.

Some Italian demonstrators expressed dismay that Italy’s top cycling race Giro d’Italia will start next year in Jerusalem.

Other protesters held Palestinian flags, and some shouted slogans against Israel. One participant held a sign reading, “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine.”

  • 5:30 p.m.

Officials from Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox church said they would not receive Vice President Mike Pence after the U.S. decision.

The Church spokesman stated the U.S. move is “inappropriate and without consideration for the feelings of millions of people.”

President Trump had also announced plans to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a decision that triggered protests across the Middle East.

  • 4:05 p.m.

Turkey’s president has called on Muslims to remain calm in their response to the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on said protesters should act within the scope of law and democracy.

Protests in Gaza and the West Bank have led to clashes.

“The fate of Jerusalem cannot be left to an occupying state that usurped Palestinians’ lands since 1967 with no regard to law or morality.” said President Erdogan.

Erdogan called Jerusalem “the apple of our eyes” and the “red line” of the Muslim world.

  • 4:05 p.m.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said those who called for Jews to be killed did something “totally unacceptable” during a small demonstration in southern Sweden to protest President Trump’s decision.

Swedish media reported that anti-Jewish slogans were yelled when about 200 people, some waving Palestinian flags, rallied late Friday in Malmo.

Wallstrom tweeted “threats, hate and anti-Semitism have no place in our society” and were “totally unacceptable.”

Justice Minister Morgan Johansson tweeted “it is horrendous — to invoke violence against Jews,” and promised that if anyone could be identified as those who shouted it, the person would be prosecuted.

In Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city, about 7 percent of 285,000 inhabitants were born in the Middle East, according to city statistics.

  • 1:45 p.m.

Hundreds of women belonging to Pakistan’s main Islamist party rallied in the country’s biggest city against U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Wearing all-encompassing black veils, the protesters Saturday chanted anti-Trump and anti-U.S. slogans and held banners and placards.

Senator Sirajul Haq, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami, addressed the protest, calling for a diplomatic boycott of the United States if it does not reverse its decision. He also called for a ban on American goods and the closure of U.S. diplomatic missions in Pakistan.

President Trump’s move to recognize Jerusalem upended decades of U.S. foreign policy and went against the international consensus that Jerusalem’s final status should be decided by Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

  • 11:45 a.m.

A senior official confirmed that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will not meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in the West Bank this month because of President Trump’s decision.

Israeli officials said they won’t relinquish any part of the city, while the Palestinians want the Israeli-annexed eastern sector as their future capital.

Under international consensus, the city’s fate is to be determined in negotiations.

President Abbas’ diplomatic adviser, Majdi Khaldi, said that President Abbas won’t meet Vice President Pence “because the U.S. has crossed red lines” on Jerusalem.

President Abbas had viewed close ties with Washington as strategically important because of the U.S. role as Mideast broker. The snub of Vice President Pence signaled a sharp deterioration in relations.

  • 10:15 a.m.

Gaza officials said two Hamas members have been killed in Israeli airstrikes following a rocket attack on Israel.

Israeli military officials said it targeted four Hamas facilities in response to rockets fired the previous day, including one that landed in the town of Sderot without causing casualties or major damage.

The military said it struck military warehouses and weapons manufacturing sites. Hamas said it recovered the bodies of two of its men.

Israel considers Hamas responsible for all rocket fire emanating from Gaza, which is home to other armed groups.

Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops in dozens of West Bank hotspots Friday and along the Gaza border, where the two were killed.

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