Israel boosts Gaza border force as United States prepares to open Jerusalem embassy

Erika Holt
May 14, 2018

Those talks have been frozen since 2014.

The Israeli army said it would nearly double the number of troops surrounding the Gaza Strip and in the occupied West Bank to tackle Palestinian protests against Monday's controversial opening of a United States embassy in Jerusalem.

Her visit comes as the USA moves its embassy to Jerusalem this week. "We urge global leaders to respect worldwide law and humanitarian values and principles and not participate in tomorrow's opening ceremony of the U.S. Embassy in occupied Jerusalem; rather, they should assume an active stand against the unlawful measure and defend the global rule of law and justice by holding Israel to account with punitive measures and sanctions".

The latter three countries just blocked the European Union from putting out an official condemnation of the American embassy move to Jerusalem. "Recognizing reality always enhances the chances for peace".

On Sunday evening, Israel will celebrate Jerusalem Day, marking 51 years since the city was reunited.

Meanwhile, tensions between Israel and Iran have escalated since Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the 2015 worldwide nuclear pact with Iran.

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".

According to the Ministry, among the 86 invited ambassadors in Israel, nearly 40 have already confirmed their presence. The consular staff will become embassy employees and extensions will be built to house more employees.

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Dozens of foreign diplomats are expected, though many ambassadors of European nations who oppose the move will skip it.

Last week, Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa tweeted in Israel's defense: "As long as Iran has breached the status quo in the region and has (yet to) evacuate its troops and missiles, any state in the region, including Israel, is entitled to defend itself by destroying the sources of the danger".

"Every day, there are Palestinians being killed by the Israeli occupation", he said, going on to call on Muslim and Arab countries "to act responsibly to alleviate the suffering of our brothers there".

A mass border breach could trigger potentially lethal Israeli force.

The U.S. Treasury secretary called the embassy relocation "a sign of the enduring friendship and partnership between our two countries" and also referred to the U.S. withdrawal last week from the Iran nuclear deal, a move welcomed by Israel and some U.S. Arab allies in the Gulf but lamented by other world powers.

Gaza's ruling Hamas movement is urging tens of thousands of people to join Monday's protest - which is meant to coincide with the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in contested Jerusalem.

Fraser Valley residents have an opportunity to mark the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba - "Catastrophe" - on Tuesday, May 15 with a candlelight vigil in Abbotsford.

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