A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to throw a stone through the smoke of burning tires during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Ramallah on December 11, 2017. / AFP / THOMAS COEX
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A fifth day of angry protests was expected in the Middle East on Monday over US President Donald Trump's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, as Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas visited Cairo for crisis talks.As near universal criticism of Trump's decision mounted, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with EU foreign ministers in Brussels, declaring that the move he has lauded as historic "makes peace possible". Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday that Trump's decision threw "fuel on the fire" of Middle Eastern tensions and would not be tolerated.Palestinian leaders have been outraged by Trump's move, but they also face difficult choices in how to respond since they rely on US aid and would like to salvage remaining hopes of a two-state solution to the conflict.Netanyahu, who heads what is seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history, showed no sign of obliging, instead seeking to place blame on the Palestinians for stalled peace efforts.He met EU foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, the first such talks with an Israeli premier in 22 years and after the bloc's diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini warned Trump's move could take the situation "backwards to even darker times". Jerusalem's status is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Trump noted in his decision that Jerusalem's final status would have to be decided in negotiations between the two sides, but the Palestinians have not been convinced.
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