Israelis march, bask in pro-US fervour ahead of embassy move

Israelis march, bask in pro-US fervour ahead of embassy move

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On Monday, the official dedication ceremony will be held in the new US consulate-turned-embassy in Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood. Those protests are expected to climax on Monday, with tens of thousands of people expected to gather along the Israeli border in an event timed to coincide with the USA embassy move.

"Under any peace agreement [with the Palestinians] Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel", Netanyahu said. It will also be given to all world leaders who move their embassies to Jerusalem and was recently bestowed on Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.

For 70 years, Jerusalem has been awaiting global recognition, until President Donald Trump, in a courageous move, recognised Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled for several years and Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have expanded.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

No other countries have their embassies in Jerusalem with diplomats kept an hour away in Tel Aviv - so as not to show support for rival claims to the Holy City.

Since March 30, 42 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the weekly protests held primarily to highlight the decade-long blockade of Gaza. "If you're not prepared to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that's where the American embassy should be, then you're operating on a completely different wavelength".

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On Tuesday, Palestinians mark what they call the "Nakba" or Catastrophe, in memory of the more than 700,000 Palestinians who were either driven from, or fled, their homes during the Arab-Israeli war that accompanied the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. "Move your embassies to Jerusalem because it advances peace, and that's because you can't base peace on a foundation of lies".

Israeli foreign ministry said that 86 foreign ambassadors to Israel were invited to the opening ceremony.

White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Israeli officials pose for a photo upon arrival at the Ben Gurion International Airport. Additionally, police officers will stand in a "human wall" between the neighborhood of Arnona, where the new embassy is located, and the Palestinian Sur Baher, the police said.

There were already tensions in the weeks before the embassy move.

The weekly protests along the Israel-Gaza border are expected to culminate on Monday in parallel with the celebrations in Jerusalem.

Observers say there is concern that expanding Palestinian protests may lead to clashes with Israeli forces. The UN, European Union and rights groups have accused Israel of using excessive force against unarmed protesters. More than half the visitors to FOZ are Israelis.

  • Kyle Warner