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Israel marks opening of United States embassy in Jerusalem amid ongoing protests

14 May 2018
Israel marks opening of United States embassy in Jerusalem amid ongoing protests

Trump announced his decision on Jerusalem in December, triggering a joyous reaction from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

Abbas says the USA must explicitly support a two-state solution, recognise east Jerusalem in principle as a Palestinian capital and allow other powers to join as mediators.

"For 70 years Jerusalem been awaiting worldwide recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel", the Beitar Trump Jerusalem football club - formerly known as the Beitar Jerusalem Football Club - said on its Facebook page.

Ivanka Trump has landed in Israel for the inauguration of the US Jerusalem embassy on Monday, as protesters in Gaza prepare for a day of rallies along the frontier that are expected to be met with gunfire.

The embassy is being relocated from Tel Aviv after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that overturned decades of USA foreign policy.

Hamas has signalled that large crowds, numbering perhaps in the thousands, might try to break through the border fence to realize the "right of return" to homes lost in 1948.

Several prominent political figures took part in Friday's rally, including Mohamed Zayoud, the head of the Islamic Action Front Party.

More than 40 Palestinians have been killed during six weeks of protests and tens of thousands of Gazans are expected at tented border encampments in the coming days. The Friends of Zion Museum has promised to bestow this award on any leader who will follow in President Trump steps and move their embassy to Jerusalem. "Congratulations to all!" Mr Trump tweeted last Friday.

Others in attendance on Monday will be Trump's special representative for worldwide negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

On May 14, in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon HaNatziv /East Talpiyot, United States Embassy will officially open.

The U.S. Embassy move "gives life to a religious conflict instead of a dignified peace", it said in a statement. Previous recipients of the award are also President George W. Bush, Prince Albert II of Monaco, President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria and recently also President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala, for declaring he will move the embassy to Jerusalem. "You deserve a better future", the leaflets said.

Trump will not attend the embassy opening Monday, but his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner will.

The move prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to halt ties with the Trump administration, declaring it unfit to remain in its role as the sole mediator in peace talks. "It's a recognition of reality", he told ABC's "This Week".