US Jerusalem embassy opening starts long process

Around 800 American and Israeli guests will celebrate the embassy opening on Monday

The unrest came a day before the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the day that Palestinians commemorate their day of "catastrophe", when around 700,000 Arabs were expelled or fled during the creation of Israel as a state in 1948.

Israeli forces killed at least 41 Palestinians and wounded hundreds more across the Gaza Strip on Monday as protesters stormed the security fence, in what the Palestinian government called a "terrible massacre" ahead of the scheduled opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

Monday brings the belated fulfillment of an old promise - that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Israeli military dropped leaflets and fired tear gas into Gaza early on Monday, warning Palestinians to stay away from the border as protesters gathered for the penultimate day of a six-week demonstration.

But Diana Buttu, a Ramallah-based analyst and former advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said the U.S. might be making a mistake and conflating the region's leadership with its streets.

Israel's military says it will stop any border breach.

The death toll made it the deadliest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the 2014 Gaza war.

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According to Jerusalem Post, Israeli demonstrators marched around Jerusalem's streets Saturday night, denouncing the Flag March, planned for Monday, and the USA embassy move.

A day before the embassy's formal opening, Israel hosted a gala party at its Foreign Ministry with President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, her husband, Jared Kushner, and other American VIPs.

Monday's inauguration ceremony at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT) will include around 800 guests - though not Trump himself - at what until now had been a United States consulate building in Jerusalem.

Israel seized East Jerusalem, together with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East war.

It is thought that protesters could try to enter Israel this week because of the embassy move.

Since weekly border marches began in March, scores of Palestinian protesters have been killed and more than 2,300 wounded.

Protests against the embassy opening raged in Gaza.

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"The United States will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace", President Trump said during his video address.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cut ties with the Trump administration and declared it unfit to mediate peace talks.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in a move not recognized by the global community.

US President Donald Trump's decision in December to move America's embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv triggered a joyous reaction in Israel.

Israel's army said it would nearly double the number of troops surrounding Gaza and in the occupied West Bank.

Since the establishment of Israel in 1948, the USA and most other nations have not recognised any country's sovereignty over Jerusalem, which is holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians.

The modern, sleekly designed building is about a mile from the east Jerusalem Palestinian neighbourhood of Jabel Mukaber, home to several perpetrators of militant attacks - including one in 2015 that killed two Israelis and a US-Israeli dual national.

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For the truth is that many such evangelical Christian leaders who support Trump believe that his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is fulfilling biblical prophecy and that is to be celebrated, whatever the cost; indeed, as Bachmann has said, that Jesus is "coming soon". Paraguay is to follow suit later this month. Mr Kushner leads the Trump Middle East team.

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