Hamas: Ismail Haniya visits Egypt ahead of United States embassy move

Hamas: Ismail Haniya visits Egypt ahead of United States embassy move

Speaking on the eve of the embassy opening, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was hopeful of success in efforts to end the decades-old conflict while National Security Adviser John Bolton said it should make peace "easier".

They take place at a time of growing frustration over the prospects for an independent Palestinian state.

"The peace process is most decidedly not dead", Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on "Fox News Sunday".

Only US ambassador Friedman and a few staff members will work out of the new embassy site in Jerusalem during the first phase. "It will certainly cause tensions, but we can only hope that leaders on both sides know how to calm down people".

Just a day before the move of the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Friends of Zion Heritage Center announced on Sunday that it has passed 40 million pro-Israel followers on Facebook through its parent corporation, the Jerusalem Prayer Team. Guatemala and Paraguay plan to move their embassies to Jerusalem later this month. The worldwide community doesn't recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The embassy move has provoked Palestinian anger and led them to freeze ties with the White House.

A peace deal has eluded Mr. Trump's three most recent predecessors as president, and the most recent round of talks collapsed in 2014. Other major powers worry that the US move could now inflame Palestinian unrest in the occupied West Bank and on the Gaza Strip border, where Israel reinforced troops in anticipation of the embassy opening. In 1980, Israel effectively annexed East Jerusalem and declared the entire city as its capital. Ahead of the opening, new road signs for the embassy appeared near the site.

In Jordan, dozens of Palestinians waving flags and chanting slogans joined "nakba" protests in an area near the Israeli-controlled frontier between the West Bank and the kingdom. "Should there be someday a Palestinian state, if they want part of Jerusalem, someday they'll find an agreement, but for now, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel", he adds.

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"Trump's decision affirms the truth that Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3000 years and it will remain our capital", Netanyahu continued touting what he called "the truth".

"Some petrol stations have storage for maybe a day or two, so the crisis will begin by Monday or Tuesday should the crossing remained closed", he said. The issue of the U.S.'s recognizing Jerusalem has also drawn repeated condemnation from Arab rulers, including Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Jordan's King Abdullah and Egypt's president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, staunch US allies.

A picture taken on April 13, 2018 from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border with the Gaza Strip shows Israeli soldiers and Palestinian protesters gathering along the border fence with Israel.

Palestinians meanwhile readied for their own protests on Monday over the embassy's inauguration, including another mass demonstration in the Gaza Strip near the border with Israel. "We will continue, like this evening, to strike the terror infrastructure", said Avigdor Liberman, Israeli Defence Minister, on Twitter on Saturday.

Mr. Trump won't attend Monday's ceremony but will address the proceedings by video. Palestinians have called on other diplomatic missions to boycott the USA embassy's inauguration event on Monday, which will be attended by around 1,000 guests, among them a U.S. delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

State Department officials said the USA would also look for a site to build a new embassy.

"No one will remain silent in the face of what the USA and Israel are doing", she said.

-Dov Lieber in Jerusalem and Kate O'Keeffe in Washington contributed to this article.

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