Israel boosts Gaza border force as U.S. prepares to open Jerusalem embassy

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KENYON: Well, the Palestinian Authority has already said the U.S.is no longer seen as a fair broker of any peace agreement.

They arrived in Israel on Sunday.

Israel accuses Hamas of using the protests as a cover to launch attacks against the Gaza-Israel border fence, and Israeli soldiers on the other side. Forty-two Palestinians have been killed and over 1,800 have been wounded by Israeli fire since the weekly protests began on March 30.

For Israelis, Sunday was Jerusalem Day, an annual celebration of the "reunification" of the city following the 1967 Six-Day War.

Addressing dignitaries at the Foreign Ministry, including US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the president's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the Israeli prime minister urged others to follow Washington's lead.

Her visit comes as the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem this week.

JERUSALEM - Celebrations across Israel welcomed the U.S. Embassy's official relocation to this historic city Monday, a move that fulfills one of President Donald Trump's biggest foreign policy campaign promises as well as a longtime wish of the American ally.

This year, due to the peculiar nature of the Hebrew calendar - which combines both lunar and solar elements - the Hebrew date of Jerusalem Day fell one day before the Roman date of Israel's 70th anniversary on May 14. Israel is marking the 51st anniversary of its capture of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians continued to insist Jerusalem was their capital. "The reason is simple: For over 3,000 years it has been the capital of our people, and only of our people".

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

The event, however, was shunned by most European Union countries.

Police and the Israeli military planned major security deployments.

Israel's army said it would nearly double the number of troops surrounding the Gaza Strip and in the occupied West Bank.

This does not mean the United States is taking a firm position on negotiating terms known as final-status, which accounts for the borders of various territories that would be agreed upon by the Israelis and Palestinians. Jerusalem's status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Workers prepare the stage for the opening ceremony of the new USA embassy in Jerusalem on May 13, 2018. In the decades since 1967, worldwide consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke with that to global outrage.

Pompeo said he was aware that there could be security concerns for U.S. embassies and citizens in the region in the coming days.

The army said it was reinforcing its troops in the West Bank with several combat battalions and intelligence units in case of possible unrest there as well. Trump's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will be among the USA delegation.

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