Palestinians angry at reports of early US Embassy move to Jerusalem


President Trump announced previous year that the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, angering Palestinians who want the eastern part of the city as their own capital.

The scheduled opening of the USA embassy in May appears to represent an earlier time frame than what had been expected.

USA officials have been saying for months that they intend to move the embassy to Jerusalem before the end of this calendar year - a midterm election year in the US.

Israel holds Jerusalem to be its indivisible capital, while Palestinians want the city's eastern sector to be their capital in an independent Palestine state.

The founding of Israel seven decades ago on May 14 1948 is mourned by Palestinians as the Nakba, or "catastrophe" when an estimated 750,000 Palestinians either fled or were expelled from their homes in the war surrounding Israel's creation. And Tillerson had said it could take years.

"It will turn Israel's 70th Independence Day into an even greater national celebration", said Netanyahu, whose right-wing government is facing an uncertain future due to corruption allegations and police inquiries facing the prime minister. Four U.S. officials told The Associated Press that State Department lawyers are researching whether accepting such a deal would be legal. The United States has started the search for a location for its permanent embassy in Jerusalem, it said.

More civilians killed in 2017
The UN also points out that airstrikes by worldwide and Afghan forces caused more casualties than the previous year. Report states that over 28,000 civilians have been killed and over 52,000 wounded in Afghanistan since 2009.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is being planned for mid-May. Both claim the city as their capital.

Trump also noted that other presidents during their election campaigns promised to make the move but always broke that promise.

The embassy in Jerusalem will be gradually expanded in existing consular facilities in the Arnona neighborhood, according to Nauert. "The most just and correct move". "Thanks friend!" Katz said in a post on his Twitter account.

The decision to move the embassy was widely condemned by the worldwide community over concerns the action would undermine the prospects for peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.

Palestinian health officials said at least 20 Palestinians, majority in Gaza, have been killed in protests against Trump's decision since the 6 December announcement.

Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador to Israel under President Obama, agrees that the embassy belongs in Jerusalem but that the Trump administration has failed to give the proper assurances especially to the Palestinians.