JERUSALEM (AP) - Palestinian officials are fuming over the Giro d'Italia's decision to remove references to "West Jerusalem" from its website about next year's race following pressure from Israel.
Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi issued a statement Friday saying the Giro was serving to "legitimize the annexation of Jerusalem" and was "complicit in Israel's military occupation." The Palestinian embassy in Rome called Israel's "blackmail" entirely political.
Israel considers the entire city, including east Jerusalem, home to the iconic Old City and its sensitive holy sites, to be its eternal capital. The international community doesn't recognize Israeli sovereignty over territories it captured in the 1967 Mideast war, including east Jerusalem.
Jerusalem will host the first stage of the 2018 race, but the route doesn't pass through any territory considered occupied by the international community.
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