16:30 GMT19 October 2020
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    The Vermont State Police and the Northampton Police Department in Massachusetts have cancelled their annual visit to Israeli police forces and participation in joint training.

    Several organisations, including those affiliated with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, strongly opposed the training.

    "After a meeting with concerned Pioneer Valley residents, Northampton Mayor Narkewicz withdrew Police Commissioner Kasper from the same trip," a coalition of organisations, including the Vermont National Lawyers Guild, Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Vermonters for Justice in Palestine said in a press release.

    At the annual program, which was created in 2002, US law enforcement participated in a week-long seminar in Israel with Israeli security services.

    The programme does not provide tactical training to US officers, but would train them to "enhance their effectiveness in preventing and responding to extremism and terrorist threats and violence," the Anti-Defamation League, which funded and organised the program, said, as quoted by the Haaretz newspaper.

    Relations between the US and Israel have been on the upswing since Donald Trump's election in 2016.

    On May 14, the United States held an official ceremony for the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem, cementing President Donald Trump's decision to formally recognise the city as the capital of Israel.

    Netanyahu showed support for the move, while the Palestinian authorities criticized it.


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