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Ivanka Trump arrives in Israel ahead of USA embassy move

Ivanka Trump arrives in Israel ahead of USA embassy move

However, Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Netanyahu praised President Trump's "bold decision" to move the embassy to contested Jerusalem. Those protests are to climax Monday, with tens of thousands of people expected to gather along the Israeli border in an event timed to coincide with the U.S. Embassy move.

Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem is not recognised internationally and, according to the 1993 Israel-Palestinian peace accords, the final status of Jerusalem is meant to be discussed in the latter stages of peace talks. It annexed the eastern sector to its previously declared capital in the western part of the city, a move not recognised at the time by the U.S. and most other nations.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, Sunday said in a statement that all Israeli measures in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially Jerusalem are null and void, and called on the Palestinians to stand against these measures.

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

Palestinian leaders, however, see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Trump has been criticized for handing his ally Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political victory without insisting on any Israeli concessions that might mollify Palestinians and help revive the moribund peace process.

Four European countries - Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary - have confirmed their participation although the European Union opposes the relocation. Protests are continuing across the region.

Another bomb explodes in Indonesia after church bombings
Shattered glass and chunks of concrete littered the entrance of the Santa Maria Church, which was sealed off by police. Indonesia is the most populous Muslim country in the world but the Christian faith numbers roughly 25 million people.

Monday's ceremony - which takes place on the 70th anniversary of Israel declaring its independence - for now means moving the ambassador and a small staff to the US consular compound in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona and rededicating the building as the American Embassy.

Dozens of Palestinian demonstrators had broken into the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom terminal, the main conduit for goods in and out of the territory, on Friday.

The Great March of Return includes rallies that are part of a weeks-long protest that will culminate on May 15 to mark what Palestinians refer to as the Nakba or "Catastrophe" - a reference to Israel's establishment in 1948, when 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly removed from Palestine.

The army said it was also reinforcing its troops in the West Bank with several combat battalions and intelligence units in case of possible unrest there as well.

President Trump's last name is used for branding purposes throughout the world. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and view the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city as a one-sided move that invalidates the U.S. as a Middle East peace broker.

For Israelis, Sunday was Jerusalem Day, an annual celebration of the "reunification" of the city following the 1967 Six-Day War.

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

United Nations human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein accused Israel of using "excessive force".


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