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RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories: On Tuesday, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas withdrew his top representative to the United States, the foreign ministry announced, a day after the US moved its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem.
Husam Zomlot, the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, would be returning to the Palestinian territories on Wednesday, the statement claimed.
It did not state how long Zomlot, the most senior Palestinian official in Washington, would be withdrawn for.
The Palestinians reacted wrathfully to President Donald Trump’s December announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving his country’s embassy there from Tel Aviv.
The Palestinians consider the eastern part of Jerusalem their capital and countries have long kept their embassies in Tel Aviv, saying the future of the holy city was an issue to be negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians.
The date of Monday’s embassy opening also infuriated Palestinians, coming the day before they commemorate their mass displacement in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel.
The Israeli government welcomed the embassy move, which concurred with the anniversary of the country’s independence.
The event was outdone by mass protests along the Gaza border in which Israeli fire killed 60 Palestinians.
The foreign ministry statement did not pertain to the deaths, only the embassy moves.