Israel destroys Gaza tunnel, boosts troop numbers, ahead of expected protests

Aaron Brown
May 14, 2018

The president's decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem-while recognizing the latter as the capital of Israel-received widespread criticism around the world, particularly from Palestinians who burned photographs of him.

Hamas has signalled that large crowds, numbering perhaps in the thousands, might try to break through the border fence to realize the "right of return" to homes lost in 1948.

"I call on all countries to join the USA in moving their embassies to Jerusalem", Mr Netanyahu said, adding: "It's the right thing to do... because it advances peace".

Israel says it is protecting a sovereign border and accuses Hamas of using the unrest to plan and carry out attacks.

Pompeo tells "Fox News Sunday" that the US still hopes to be able to "achieve a successful outcome" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"Thank you President Trump for your bold decision, thank you for making the alliance between Israel and USA stronger than ever", Netanyahu said.

As well as the protests by the Palestinians, demonstrations are expected on Monday in other Arab capitals where governments have argued that the status of Jerusalem should only form part of a final peace agreement.

The Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry slammed on Saturday the positions of three European Union (EU) members that blocked an EU condemnation of the USA embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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The protest is to culminate weeks of border marches aimed at breaking a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

Since the end of March, more than 40 Palestinians have been killed in protests at the border.

"I think recognising reality always enhances the chances for peace".

On December 16, 2017, Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a move that triggered new violence in the region.

Hamas governs the Gaza Strip, a densely populated coastal enclave that shares borders with Egypt and Israel, with which it has fought three wars since 2008.

The new US embassy in Jerusalem is set to open on Monday, coinciding with Israel's Independence Day.

The two senior White House advisers, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will attend the ceremony.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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