Palestinians Observe General Strike amid Pence Visit
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A general strike was observed throughout Palestine on Tuesday in protest against a visit by US Vice President Mike Pence to the old city of Jerusalem (al-Quds).
Shops, banks, schools, and government offices were shut down heeding the call by political forces for the strike, according to Wafa news agency.
Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party called for a general strike across “all Palestinian sectors”.
Public transportation has also joined the strike. Excluded from the strike were hospitals and clinics and some educational facilities.
Pence, a pro-Israel who pushed for recognition of Jerusalem (al-Quds) as Israel’s capital and a strong advocate of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, is expected to visit Al-Buraq Wall, one of the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, on Tuesday.
On Sunday night, several Palestinian protesters burned a photo of Mike Pence in the West Bank city of Bethlehem against his arrival in Israel earlier in the day.
The visit, part of a wider tour of Middle Eastern countries, comes amid simmering Palestinian anger at Trump’s December recognition of Jerusalem (al-Quds) as Israel’s capital.
Initially scheduled for December before being postponed, Pence’s visit is the final leg of a trip that included stops in Egypt and Jordan as well as a visit earlier in the day to a US military facility near the Syrian border.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Pence in a Facebook post, and later at an event for foreign diplomats, hailing the US vice president as a “great friend of Israel.”