PLO official urge boycott of USA embassy opening


The US is sending a massive delegation to Jerusalem to honor the occasion, completing the process of formal recognition of Israel's capital.

Thursday's deadly air strikes followed rocket fire toward Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights that Israel blamed on Iran.

Israeli and United States forces in the region are bracing for violence as both nations prepare for the grand opening of the new American embassy in Jerusalem; fulfilling years of empty promises and highlighting the close relationship between the two countries.

Monday's ceremony will include some 800 guests and a White House delegation - though not Trump himself - at what until now had been a United States consulate building in Jerusalem.

Trump is not attending the opening, and has instead dispatched his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, his daughter Ivanka Trump, and his Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt.

And he argued that, to the contrary, the protests have promoted the idea of reconciliation by uniting Palestinians of all factions against a common enemy, Israel. There, protesters are in a frenzy, as they prepare to bring their month-and-a-half-long March of Return to a climax on Tuesday, which Palestinians mark as "Nakba Day".

A Palestinian man uses a slingshot during weekly protests along the Gaza border near the city of Khan Younis on May 4, 2018.

Indyk noted that although the embassy move was an "issue for American politics and a majority of Jewish Israelis would welcome that their capital be recognized ... it was not a priority for [Jewish Israelis] and not a priority if it results in an explosion or terrorist acts". It later annexed East Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

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At previous peace talks, the Palestinians have always demanded, along with sovereignty in the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, and the Old City, a "right of return" to Israel for Palestinian refugees who left or were forced out of Israel when it was established.

Less than half of foreign diplomats accepted the invitation to the U.S. Embassy event in Jerusalem.

Since Trump's announcement, Guatemala and Paraguay have announced that they too would like to move their embassies to Jerusalem.

The Palestinians have been so angered by Trump's decision that they froze ties with the White House.

With or without the museum, pro-Trump sentiment is riding high in Israel.

Construction of the new Embassy will likely take at least six years.

He added that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the USA had disqualified itself as a mediator in peace talks, and noted that the Trump administration has "not articulated" calls for an "end to the Israeli occupation and for full sovereignty for a Palestinian state".