An event attended by U.S. diplomats in Bethlehem was cut short on Tuesday because an uncontrollable Palestinian mob stormed the venue. Aside from preventing the event from continuing, some of the Palestinians attacked an American diplomatic vehicle as it fled the scene.
Protesters in Bethlehem, today Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
U.S. diplomats who were visiting the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday had to cut their event short after violent Palestinian protesters stormed the venue in protest against U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration regarding Jerusalem’s status and decision to cut aid to UNRWA.
In footage that surfaced on social media after the incident, the protesters are seen barging into the room where the meeting was being held and then fighting with Palestinians who appeared to be trying to remove them from the scene. The American officials quickly gathered their items and left the room. “You are not welcomed anymore. Go out!” yelled one of the Palestinian protesters as they exited the venue.
Aside from holding up posters and chanting anti-America slogans in Arabic, the angry Palestinian mob damaged an American diplomatic vehicle. As the U.S. diplomats were fleeing the scene in the SUV, some of the protesters threw tomatoes at it, kicked one of its doors and tore off the plastic casing of one of its side mirrors, according to Reuters.
The U.S. State Department commented on the incident, saying: “The United States opposes the use of violence and intimidation to express political views. This non-political program was one part of long-term U.S. engagement to create economic opportunities for Palestinians.”