Clashes erupt in Gaza as US Embassy in Jerusalem set to open


Activists in Jordan and Turkey also stormed the streets on Friday, protesting the USA embassy move that is scheduled to take place May 14, the anniversary of the creation of the Israeli state, also widely known as the Nakba (Catastrophe) across the Arab world.

According to Gaza's Health Ministry, 40 Palestinian protesters have been killed so far in the violent clashes with Israeli forces along the coastal enclave's border.

Monday will see the official opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, five months after President Donald Trump announced the move, which has prompted a wave of protests from Palestinians.

Israeli foreign ministry said that 86 foreign ambassadors to Israel were invited to the opening ceremony.

The protests are scheduled to culminate on Tuesday, the day Palestinians mourn as the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe" when, in 1948, hundreds of thousands of them were driven out of their homes.

Israeli warplanes also struck a Hamas base close to the border, the army said, saying forces had come under fire.

Clashes erupted along the fence Monday between Palestinians and Israeli forces as protesters converged on the site for a "day of rage". The Israelis also fired tear gas at people inside the tented encampments that have sprung up along the fence.

Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas figure, said the mass border protests against Israel will continue "until the rights of the Palestinian people are achieved".

Speaking in a five-minute-long video, al-Zawahiri said Trump's decision to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem shows "standing down and appeasement does not work".

Israeli leaders and a U.S. delegation including treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and President Donald Trump's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, attended the opening of the embassy.

A total of 86 foreign ambassadors in Israel were invited to the opening ceremony of the USA embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, while 40 of them accepted the invitation.

Trump's unilateral decision delighted Israelis and enraged Palestinians, who want to make the eastern, mainly Palestinian, part of the city the capital of their future state and say that Trump's decision ignores their demands.

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

"Once again Israel has responded to protests in Gaza by using lethal sniper fire, killing scores of Palestinian protesters and wounding many, many more".

A majority of Gaza's 2 million people are descendants of refugees, and the protests have been billed as the "Great March of Return".

Larijani on Monday also urged Muslim countries to take more serious measures in response to President Donald Trump's "wrong and unwise decision" to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in a move not recognised by the worldwide community.

For its part, Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its indivisible capital.

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

He called on other countries to follow the USA move, saying that "in any peace that you could possibly imagine, Jerusalem will remain as Israel's capital".

Most of the dead were killed by Israeli fire near the border.

Previous U.S. administrations have kept the embassy in Tel Aviv in an attempt to keep peace efforts percolating, but Trump's shift has stirred resentment among Palestinians who hope to establish their own future capital in east Jerusalem. Only two countries, Guatemala and Paraguay, have said they will follow suit.

Professor Yossi Mekelberg, from Chatham House's Middle East and North Africa Programme, told The Independent: "Jerusalem is holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians; it is one of the most sensitive places on planet Earth".