Palestinian protesters disrupt US economic meeting

BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian protesters have disrupted a meeting between U.S. officials and a Palestinian trade group in the West Bank, shouting at the American participants and pelting their vehicles with tomatoes as they departed abruptly.

About a dozen protesters burst into the meeting with the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday brandishing posters with anti-U.S. messages. Protesters said they opposed any contact with American officials and came to “forcibly stop this meeting,” which was quickly cut short after the protest.

The State Department condemned the incident and called it “intimidation” by “unruly protesters.” The statement said the meeting was “one part of long-term U.S. engagement to create economic opportunities for Palestinians.”

The incident comes amid unrest following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

(Copyright (c) 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)