Hamas leader in brief Egypt visit ahead of Gaza protests

14 May, 2018, 13:18 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Road signs directing to the U.S. embassy are seen on a truck in Jerusalem

May 14 is also the 70th anniversary of the date that U.S. President Harry S. Truman recognized Israel, which is the reason the embassy transfer was scheduled for that date.

Gaza's ruling Hamas movement is urging tens of thousands of people to join Monday's protest - which is meant to coincide with the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem.

As Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump watch the plaque being unveiled at the new US embassy in Jerusalem today, 50 miles away the Israeli army will be readying for its nightmare scenario: thousands of Palestinians bursting through the fence with Gaza.

Those talks have been frozen since 2014.

A total of 86 foreign ambassadors in Israel were invited to the opening ceremony of the USA embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, while 40 of them accepted the invitation. Most of the world maintains embassies in Tel Aviv, saying the Jerusalem issue must first be resolved.

Some had American flags, while banners celebrating US President Donald Trump were hung by a pro-Israel evangelical Christian organisation.

Both the embassy move and the protests have symbolic timing.

On Sunday, scuffles broke out between Israelis visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in east Jerusalem's Old City, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, and Palestinian security officers. And move your embassies to Jerusalem... because it advances peace, and that's because you can't base peace on a foundation of lies.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told revelers that Trump's December declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "the right thing to do".


The Trump administration bypassed years of costly construction on a new embassy by essentially re-purposing an existing consular building.

No-show nations withheld comment on Sunday. The Oslo Accords called for the final status of Jerusalem to be decided through negotiations between the parties. Witnesses said some prostrated themselves in Jewish prayer, violating religious restrictions at the site and sparking scuffles with Muslim worshippers.

The Israeli military says its troops are defending the border and firing in accordance with the rules of engagement.

Monday's opening will be attended by Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who both serve as White House advisers. They call it the Nakba or catastrophe that refers to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

More than 40 Palestinians have been killed in the latest violence. "On the other hand, some say this is going to be great for real estate values because its going to be such a secure area and people who work in the embassy are going to be looking for places to live".

The Israelis also fired tear gas at people inside the tented encampments that have sprung up along the border, witnesses said.

A number of Palestinian shop owners in the Old City said they planned to close when the march passed through in case anyone tried to vandalise their shops, as has occurred in the past.

Arab media have speculated that Egypt, one of only two Arab countries to have a peace treaty with Israel, could ease border restrictions with Gaza and offer economic relief in exchange for protesters not trying to breach the fence.

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