Israel marks opening of USA embassy in Jerusalem amid ongoing protests

Israel marks opening of USA embassy in Jerusalem amid ongoing protests

Israel marks opening of USA embassy in Jerusalem amid ongoing protests

Netanyahu praised President Trump's "bold decision" to move the embassy to contested Jerusalem.

"We're pleased to sponsor this event", said Kapil Sharma, president of SPHR-UFV.

He said that Israel has been accused of using excessive force, but it claims it is just protecting its border.

In a reflection of the deep sensitivities, dozens of countries - including Britain, France and Germany - skipped Sunday night's celebration at the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

Donald Trump sent his daughter and son-in-law today, while he appeared on video, to celebrate the move of the USA embassy to Jerusalem.

The senior political leader of Hamas Ismail Haniya has travelled to Cairo with a high-ranking delegation to hold talks with senior Egyptian officials about "developments" in Palestine and the region.

And although Donald Trump is fulfilling his election promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, he also promised a peace accord between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Although most of the European diplomats have reportedly decided not to attend, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Romania were set to be represented at the event.

The Israeli military said Saturday it was shutting down its main cargo crossing into Gaza after Palestinian protesters caused extensive damage to it, and that it had also destroyed an attack tunnel militants dug near its main pedestrian crossing.

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Other major powers worry that the US move could now inflame Palestinian unrest in the occupied West Bank and on the Gaza Strip border, where Israel reinforced troops in anticipation of the embassy opening. Friedman in the past has been a supporter of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. "Congratulations to all!" Trump tweeted on Friday.

The annual march to the Western Wall included many hardline religious nationalists who oppose a Palestinian state.

He has argued that it helps make peace possible by taking Jerusalem "off the table", but many have pointed out he has not announced concessions in return from Israel.

Tel Aviv is the customary base for foreign embassies in Israel, with the USA and other countries having avoided Jerusalem because of its contested status.

The Old City in east Jerusalem is home to key holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

The timing of the embassy move has led to concerns about increased tension in Gaza.

Israel says it is protecting a sovereign border and accuses Hamas of using the unrest to plan and carry out attacks.

The border protests are building to a climax on May 15, the day Palestinians call the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe", marking the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the conflict surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.

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