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

by Garry Watts May 14, 2018, 3:19
Hamas: Ismail Haniya visits Egypt ahead of United States embassy move

Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its capital.

The 70th anniversary of the foundation of Israel will mark 7 decades as refugees for Palestinians who fled their homeland.

A day after the embassy opening, Palestinians mourn the loss of their land, which they refer to as Nakba ("catastrophe") - another stark reminder to many Palestinians that their dream of statehood is fading away. I am honored to join the distinguished delegation representing President Trump, his Administration, and the American people at this momentous ceremony commemorating the opening of our new US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.

There are growing concerns that if Israel and Hamas dig in, a widespread border breach in coming days could lead to large numbers of casualties.

The Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Saturday a Gaza border crossing would be closed to fix damage from protesters' arson the night before.

Egypt opens the crossing from time to time, mainly to allow people in special categories, including medical patients and Gaza residents studying overseas, to leave the territory or return to it. The analysis was based on data collected by the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

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Hamas, which rules Gaza and has supported the protests, said it would not stop people from attempting to break through the fence.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians are expected to gather along the border between Gaza and Israel Monday to protest as the USA opens its embassy.

The Israeli army said on Sunday that it held Hamas accountable for anything in the Gaza Strip "and its consequences".

The Israeli military announced that it had deployed additional combat battalions, special units, intelligence forces and snipers along the Gaza border. The decision in December to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem has ignited months of protests in the Palestinian territories and across the region.

An Israeli man confronts a Palestinian woman at Damascus gate in Jerusalem on Sunday as Israeli settlers celebrate Jerusalem Day in the Old City.

The fate of the city has been a central issue in years of intermittent US-brokered negotiations. Hamas has organized them mostly against an Israeli-Egyptian blockade in place since Hamas overran Gaza in 2007. The Palestinian Authority has strongly denounced the Trump administration's decision on Jerusalem and has refused to engage with United States officials ever since. But just a month later Trump told Netanyahu he had taken Jerusalem "off the table" and that "we don't have to talk about it anymore".

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