AL-BIREH, Palestine

Thousands of Palestinians rallied Wednesday against a planned visit later in the day by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians raised slogans against the visit as well as Palestinian flags during the rally in Al-Bireh.

“Pompeo’s visit is not a surprise to the Palestinian people,” said Mahmoud al-Aloul, the deputy chairman of the Fateh group. “All US administrations were biased to the [Israeli] occupation, however, the outgoing Trump administration was not biased only but a partner in the occupation.”

Al-Aloul said that “despite the blockade and difficult economic conditions, our people are rooted in their land and will defend it.”

Following speeches by several Palestinian officials, the rally moved toward the Israeli Psagot settlement that Pompeo will visit.

The US diplomat also plans to visit Israeli settlements in Syria’s occupied Golan Heights.

Pompeo said in November 2019 the US will not consider Israeli settlements in the West Bank a violation of international law.

*Ahmed Asmar in Ankara contributed to this report

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