>> It is my great honor on behalf of the president of the United States to be in Israel's capital, Jerusalem.>> US Vice President Mike Pence is in Israel, the highest ranking American to land in the region since President Trump's' decision to recognize Jerusalem as the country's capital.
Part of a Mideast tour that's been dominated by the move and condemned internationally, including by every single Arab state. The city's status is at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Stephen Farrell is there for Reuters.>> Jerusalem, behind me, is the centerpiece of Mike Pence's visit to the Middle East.
Over there is the West where he's meeting Israeli leaders, talking about security cooperation and enjoying cordial relations. This side is East Jerusalem, and beyond that, the West Bank. There, the Palestinian leadership has refused to even to meet with him. Just a few miles that way is Bethlehem. Which Mr. Pence, as an evangelical Christian, might have been expected to visit had the Palestinians not been so opposed to his administration's stance.
>> Pence is believed to have been a key figure in pushing for the Jerusalem decision, which includes moving the US Embassy there from Tel Aviv. Now Trump's pledge to pursue what he once called the deal of the century in uniting Israelis and Palestinians is in tatters. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas no longer considers Washington a serious entity as a negotiator.
Even the Arab members of Israel's own parliament have refused to meet with Pence. The last month's been wracked by protests.>> 18 Palestinians have been killed and one Israeli so far. But there's been nothing on the scale of Palestinian intifadas that we've seen recent decades. But this is a case of a decision that's been taken a long way away by somebody who may or may not even be in power in three, four, five years' time.
So, perhaps, people are waiting to see if it actually happens, if it becomes a fact on the ground.>> After meeting Jordan's King Abdullah over the weekend, Pence said he and the monarch agreed to disagree on the impact of the president's policy.