World News

US Presidential Delegation Arrives in Israel for Embassy Dedication

US Presidential Delegation Arrives in Israel for Embassy Dedication

The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and view the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv as a blatantly one-sided move that invalidates the U.S.as a Mideast peace broker.

Mr Trump has been criticised for handing his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a political victory without insisting on any Israeli concessions that might mollify Palestinians and help revive the moribund peace process. The move infuriated the Palestinians, who claim Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital.

Israel is bolstering its forces along the Gaza border and in the West Bank in anticipation of mass Palestinian protests, as the USA prepares to open its new embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

But Mr Trump and his hawkish administration, which includes three Middle East envoys with strong ties to Israel, have forged ahead with the embassy move in the face of Palestinian anger.

United States President Donald Trump will address around 800 American and Israeli dignitaries at the ceremonial opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem by video tomorrow, the USA ambassador said.

Along the Gaza border on Friday, CBS News found Israelis flying kites in a counter-demonstration.

Israel says it will not tolerate a breach and will defend its border and nearby communities. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new "intifada", or uprising.

The EU mission in Israel tweeted on Friday that the bloc would "respect the global consensus on Jerusalem ... including on the location of their diplomatic representations until the final status of Jerusalem is resolved".

Since the border rallies began six weeks ago, at least 48 Palestinian protesters have been killed - and hundreds more injured - by cross-border Israeli army gunfire. More than half the visitors to FOZ are Israelis. "We are going for an global process and not for an American process", he said, adding that Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, Mr Trump's three confidants on the Middle East conflict, are "not relevant" for the Palestinians anymore. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush made the same pledge to move the embassy to Jerusalem on the campaign trail, only to abandon it after winning the White House. President Trump has remained a strong Friend of Zion.

During his meeting with Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations coordinator for the Middle East peace process, Lavrov said "this impasse is getting deeper and deeper, especially in light of recent USA decisions on Jerusalem". Nethanyahu praised President Trump's "bold decision" to move the embassy to contested Jerusalem. "You deserve a better future", the leaflets said.

When Trump announced the embassy move in December, he asserted that the move was a "recognition of reality". He sent a statement ahead of Monday's ceremony that called the move illegal and an obstacle to "a just and lasting peace between two sovereign and democratic states".


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