Palestinians slam Pence speech in Israel as "gift to extremists"

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Pence's speech "is a gift to the extremists and proves that the American administration is part of the problem rather than the solution," Secretary General of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, said in a brief statement.

RAMALLAH/GAZA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Palestinians on Monday slammed the speech of United States Vice President Mike Pence he addressed the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in which he expressed his country's commitment to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Pence addressed the Knesset, Israel's parliament, on Monday, giving a strong pro-Israeli speech and promising the controversial relocation of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be completed in less than two years.

On earlier Monday, dozens of Palestinians demonstrated in Gaza City to protest Pence's visit to the region and against what they said Washington's "biased policies toward Israel."

It warned that the policies of the U.S. administration "will push the region towards explosion and end any possibility for peace and stability in the Holy Land and the world at large."

He said that the trip shows that U.S. attempts to obliterate the Palestinian issue.

Pence's visit to Israel came amidst heightened tensions in the wake of U.S. President Donald Trump's statement on December 6, which said that U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Deputy Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who is also a senior Hamas leader, Ahmed Bahr, said Pence's visit to Israel is not welcomed.

The announcement was denounced by the Palestinians and other countries.

The Palestinian Follow-up Committee for the National and Islamic Forces in the Gaza Strip said Pence's visit to Israel "is a reflection of the American bias towards the Israeli occupation and its racist policies."