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Netanyahu Welcomes US Delegation to Jerusalem on Eve of Embassy Opening

Netanyahu Welcomes US Delegation to Jerusalem on Eve of Embassy Opening

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

On Monday, the U.S. will officially open its embassy in Jerusalem in a move that is expected to spark protests across the region.

"The main goal behind these Israeli extremist and racist measures against our people is to create a new reality in occupied Jerusalem", Sheikh Hussein said, emphasizing that the Palestinian people will not allow Israel to achieve its goals.

Media captionWhy the city of Jerusalem mattersWhy is the situation so tense?

The Trump administration has sought to keep the door open to Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy by saying the embassy move did not aim to prejudge Jerusalem's final borders.

During his visit to Israel, Vice President Pence said the USA would complete its plan to move the embassy by the end of 2019, speeding up a previously announced timeline.

On the border with Gaza, Palestinians have also held protests as Israel prepares to mark 70 years since its creation, an event Palestinians call the Nakba, or Catastrophe, when hundreds of thousands of them were displaced from their homes.

"Big week next week when the American Embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem". "Move your embassies to Jerusalem because it advances peace, and that's because you can't base peace on a foundation of lies".

Israel says it has a right to defend its border and has accused Hamas of using the protests as a cover for attacking it.

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This year's celebration takes on added significance due to the embassy move the following day.

A reception for the USA delegation will be held on Sunday afternoon at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will be there in person, alongside Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Israeli forces planned major security deployments.

Additionally, police officers will stand in a "human wall" between the neighbourhood of Arnona, where the new embassy is located, and the Palestinian Sur Baher, the police said. "It's our property", said Nili Naoun, 42, an Israeli who arrived at the holy site with her family at 7:00 am.

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

The twin developments come ahead of a potentially charged week along the Israel-Gaza border as weekly protests being staged there are expected to culminate with a potential breach of the border and a surge in casualties.

Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 49 Palestinians in the coastal enclave, and wounded more than 8,500. "The Palestinians feel that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state".

Hamas, which rules Gaza and has supported the protests, said it would not stop people from attempting to break through the fence.

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