Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus burned an effigy of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday to protest his visit to Israel and the Trump administration’s peace plan.
In footage broadcast by the UK-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site, a small group of people watched as a man poured a flammable liquid on the cutout of Pompeo, before another lit it on fire.
The cutout had a black “X” over Pompeo’s mouth and a shoe was tied around his neck as a sign of disrespect.
The video was flagged by the Middle East Media Research Institute.
Before the effigy was burned, a metal chain was also placed around Pompeo’s neck and an AFP photo showed a man holding a young child who kicked the cutout in the face.
Pompeo landed in Israel Wednesday for a lightning visit that included separate meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, incoming defense minister Benny Gantz and incoming foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
Among the topics discussed were the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese investment in Israel, Iran’s support for terrorism and US President Donald Trump’s proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
The Palestinian Authority has come out strongly against the US peace plan, which envisions Israel annexing West Bank settlements and the Jordan Valley, areas claimed by the Palestinians for a future state.
Separately this week, the PA’s official Al-Hayat al-Jadida newspaper ran a front page editorial piece saying the Palestinians would remain in conflict with Israel for hundreds of years “to liberate every part of the land of Palestine,” a watchdog reported.
The op-ed, by a Lebanese writer named Hala Salameh, was titled “Palestine is a waqf of Allah.”
“Palestine is a waqf of Allah, and it cannot be relinquished, or sold, or bargained over,” the editorial said, according to a translation from Palestinian Media Watch.
It also said the “will of Allah will be realized, and we will enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque” as did Muslim leaders Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab and Saladin, who conquered Jerusalem in wars with the Byzantines and crusaders, respectively.
“Sadly, our battle with the Zionist movement has not yet begun. The residents of Palestine, and together with them the Arabs – Muslims and Christians alike – fought the Europeans for 200 years to save Palestine… We will remain in conflict with the Zionist enemy even 400 years in order to liberate every part of the land of Palestine,” the editorial said.
Israel has long accused the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas of incitement against Israel and Israelis, through media and educational programs, and has blamed Palestinian incitement for the waves of violence in recent years.