U.S to open controversial Jerusalem embassy

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The United States is to open its new embassy in Jerusalem – a move praised by Israel but condemned by Palestinians who are gathering for mass protests.

Top U.S officials will attend the event, including President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, the BBC reports.

Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as their own future capital, and see the U.S move as backing Israeli control over the whole city.

For its part, Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its indivisible capital.

President Trump’s decision last year to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital broke with decades of U.S neutrality on the issue, and put it at odds with most of the international community.

A small interim embassy will start operating on Monday inside the existing U.S consulate building in Jerusalem.

A larger site will be found later when the rest of the embassy moves from Tel Aviv.

The opening ceremony was brought forward to coincide with the state of Israel’s 70th anniversary.

President Trump is expected to address those attending Monday’s event via video link.

Alongside Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who are both senior White House advisers, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Deputy Secretary of State, John Sullivan, will be at the ceremony.

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