JERICHO, West Bank (AP) - A senior Palestinian official says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's assertion that Jerusalem is Israel's capital is "absolutely unacceptable."
Palestinian officials have largely remained silent during Romney's Israel trip, and Saeb Erekat's comments Monday marked the strongest public criticism so far of the candidate.
The Palestinians want to establish a capital in east Jerusalem, captured and annexed by Israel in 1967. Most of the world, including the U.S., does not recognize the annexation. The U.S. and others keep their embassies in Tel Aviv.
Romney said on Sunday that Jerusalem is Israel's capital and strongly suggested he would move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem if he were president, supporting two key Israeli demands.
Erekat says Romney's comments are "disturbing," reward "occupation and aggression" and go against long-standing U.S. policy.
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