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Last Update: 7 Hour and 14 Minute ago
News code: 24776
Published Date: Saturday 24 February 2018 - 10:47:49
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US claim to open controversial embbasy in May stirs Palestinians' anger

US claim to open controversial embbasy in May stirs Palestinians' anger
World  - Palestinians reacted on Friday with anger to reports that the United States will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem within months, saying this could destroy the prospect of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Clashes erupted in Gaza and the occupied West Bank earlier on Friday in a weekly protest against U.S. President Donald Trump's stance on Jerusalem, which has also angered Arab political and religious leaders across the region and dismayed European allies.

The United States said on Friday it will open its embassy to Israeli regime in Jerusalem in May, a move from Tel Aviv that reverses decades of U.S. policy and is bound to trouble U.S. allies who have already objected.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced last December that the United States recognised Jerusalem as Israeli regime's capital, infuriating even Washington's Arab allies and dismaying Palestinians who want the eastern part of the city as their capital.

No other country has recognised Jerusalem as Israeli regime's capital and Trump's decision has sown discord between the United States and the European Union over Middle East peace efforts.

"We are excited about taking this historic step, and look forward with anticipation to the May opening," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, noting that it will coincide with Israeli regime's 70th anniversary.

Israeli regime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Friday's U.S. announcement as "a great day for the people of Israeli regime".

Palestinians reacted to the news with anger.

"This is an unacceptable step. Any unilateral move will not give legitimacy to anyone and will be an obstacle to any effort to create peace in the region," said Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who is in the United States until Saturday.

The status of Jerusalem - home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions - has been one of the thorniest issues in long-running Mideast peace efforts.

In a speech on Friday to a gathering of conservatives in suburban Washington, Trump recalled his controversial decision, saying he withstood enormous pressure to make the move.

"I put the word out that I may do it. I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me 'Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't do it,'" Trump said.