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US delegation flees Bethlehem event as Palestinians protest

US delegation flees Bethlehem event as Palestinians protestA delegation of US diplomats had to cut short an event in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem on Tuesday, an attendee said, after protesters stormed their meeting.

The angry protesters, who were objecting to US President Donald Trump’s controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, also threw tomatoes at the delegation’s car as they left, a video posted online showed.

Samir Hazboun, head of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, said they had been holding a training session for local businesspeople about digital commerce with an American expert and a delegation from the US consulate in Jerusalem.

“We were surprised when a number of angry protesters held an extraordinary protest, which forced us to end the course and for the American trainer to leave immediately with the American consulate delegation,” he told AFP.

The video online showed a handful of protesters entering the room and chanting while holding signs opposing Trump’s decision.

One sign read “Zionism = Nazism = Fascism”.

The American delegation quickly packed up and left, with the protesters throwing what appeared to be tomatoes at their cars, while one man kicked a car.

Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital set off protests among Palestinians, who consider the city to be their capital as well.

The Palestinian leadership has frozen ties with the US administration, and Trump has withheld tens of millions of dollars in aid.

AFP

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