JERUSALEM – Palestinian members of Israel’s parliament were pushed out of the chamber by security personnel on Monday after holding up signs in a silent protest against a speech by US Vice President Mike Pence.
The 13 members of the Joint List, who represent Palestinian Arabs living within Israel’s pre-1967 borders, held up placards reading “Jerusalem is The Capital of Palestine” to repudiate the appearance of Pence as well as US President Donald Trump’s decision last month to recognize the Holy City as Israel’s capital.
Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, responded to the vice president’s speech on Twitter.
“The messianic discourse of Pence is a gift to extremists & has proven that the US Administration is part of the problem rather than the solution. His message to the rest of the world is clear: violate international law & resolutions and the US will reward you,” the PLO leader wrote.
Palestinians see East Jerusalem, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War, as the capital of their future state.
Israel effectively rules over some 5.3 million Palestinians, but only around 800,000 Arabs – those who live within the pre-1967 borders – are represented in the Israeli parliament.