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Pence reschedules Middle East visit, White House says as protests continue

US Vice President Mike Pence has cancelled a visit to Jerusalem al-Quds for now.

The administration of US President Donald Trump said Monday that Pence’s trip to Israel and Egypt, set to start on Tuesday, has been postponed.

White House officials denied suggestions that the measure is linked to massive protests in Palestine and the rest of the Middle East over Trump’s recent recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital.

Palestinian children look at vandalised graffiti depicting US President Donald Trump and slogans against US Vice President Mike Pence painted on Israel’s controversial separation barrier in the West Bank city of Bethlehem during clashes with Palestinian protesters near an Israeli checkpoint on December 7, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The reason for the delay was said to be an upcoming tax vote in US Senate, which could need the vice president’s support.

The tax vote is still in very good shape, but we don’t want to take any chances whatsoever,” said a senior administration official. “We have some senators who obviously can’t make it there for the vote and the Vice President feels that it’s important for him to be here for the largest tax cut in history.

The upper chamber of US Congress is set to vote on Trump’s tax cuts as Republicans face a razor thin margin to push the legislation, particularly as GOP Senator John McCain has returned to Arizona to deal with his cancer.

PressTV-Pro-Palestine activists rally in Washington

Pro-Palestine rallies have been held in the US following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital”.

On December 6, Trump said he recognizes Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital and vowed once again to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city, which Palestinians consider their capital.

Hailed as a “great friend to the Jewish people” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump has mended ties with Israel that had gone sour under former President Obama.

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