Around 50 demonstrators from the General Union of Palestine Youth gathered for half an hour at Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem on Tuesday afternoon to protest the US veto of the UN resolution calling settlements illegal.

“We are condemning what America did by their veto,” said east Jerusalem resident Kifah Radaidah, a one of the organizers of the protest.

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“Obama already said settlements are illegal in his Cairo speech, so how come when we have a serious step to make this happen, they are not with us?” The protest was met with a large police presence that outnumbered the demonstrators, and included a unit of mounted police and police in full riot gear. The demonstration proceeded peacefully.

“The credibility of the US is shaken and damaged all over the world because of this,” said Radaidah.

She added that she was pleased with the turnout that almost filled the stairs leading to Damascus Gate, even though it was much less than the 3,000 reported at a parallel rally in Ramallah.

She said many Arab residents of east Jerusalem did not come because they were worried about being identified by Israeli authorities and questioned about their activities afterwards.

However, people are more willing to come to these protests, given the recent demonstrations around the Arab world, she said.

“The Arab people have removed the fear [of demonstrating],” she said. “Now we believe in people more than the government.”

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