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Palestinian leader says U.S. out of peace talks until Jerusalem policy reversed

Jan. 9 (UPI) — U.S. involvement with resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is off the table until President Donald Trump revokes his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a top Palestinian negotiator said Tuesday.

Saeb Erekat told official Palestinian Authority radio that resuming negotiations with the United States is “unacceptable” and that Palestinians would reject all peace talks until Trump reverses his stance on Jerusalem.

Trump announced on Dec. 6 the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv as part of the change, which the president said was in the interest of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

After the announcement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States had surrendered its role as a mediator of the peace talks, and refused to meet with U.S. officials about the peace process.

Meanwhile Tuesday, more conflicts erupted in the region as Israeli forces detained 19 Palestinians — including a 14-year-old boy — during raids in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israeli raids into Palestinian towns and villages are a near daily occurrence in the region. According to a United Nations report, between Dec. 19 and Jan. 1, Israeli forces carried out 170 search and arrest operations in the West Bank.

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