Pence visits Western Wall amid tensions with Palestinians

RONEN ZVULUN

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, right, walks alongside Israel President Reuven Rivlin during a formal reception ceremony at the President's residence in Jerusalem, Tuesday Jan. 23, 2018. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool via AP)

JERUSALEM (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence placed his hand on the hallowed Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday as he wrapped up a four-day trip to the Mideast that ended with Palestinians still fuming over the Trump administration’s decision to recognize the city as Israel’s capital.

On a solemn visit to the holiest site where Jews can pray, Pence tucked a small white note of prayer in the wall’s cracks after touring the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During his first trip to the region as vice president, Pence sought to enlist the help of Arab leaders in Egypt and Jordan on the Mideast peace process and used a high-profile speech to the Knesset to reaffirm President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital and accelerate plans to open a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

But Pence’s willingness to meet with Palestinian leaders — he told The Associated Press in an interview that the “door’s open” — was rebuffed by President Mahmoud Abbas, who canceled meetings last month and offered a not-so-subtle snub by overlapping with Pence in Jordan from Saturday evening until midday Sunday.

Several Arab lawmakers disrupted the start of Pence’s speech to the Knesset, holding signs that said, “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine.”

Much of Pence’s trip focused on working with U.S….

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