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  • Palestinian demonstrators gather during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018.

    Palestinian demonstrators gather during a protest against U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 14 May 2018

Palestinians will commemorate Nakba or “Catastrophe” one day after the start of the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestinian protesters will gather Monday at the Gaza Strip, while the United States relocates its regional embassy to Jerusalem – which dubiously commemorates Israel's 70th anniversary, to voice opposition for the move.

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Coincidentally, Palestinians will commemorate Nakba or “Catastrophe,” which resulted in some 700,000 people force fleeing their homes after the state of Israel was established in 1948, one day after the relocation of the embassy.

The U.S. government will officially begin relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem amid protests and global concerns regarding the political ramifications of the decision. Monday's launch ceremony will initiate the operation of a small interim office until the embassy fully completes its move from its current Tel Aviv location.

The relocation decision triggered Palestinians, who identify East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. While allies, such as the European Union, have stated that the decision to move the embassy has voided the United States from being a neutral party in any future peace process between Palestine and Israel.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has described the relocation of the embassy as the "slap of the century."

A worker hangs a road sign directing to the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 7, 2018. Photo: Reuters FILE

U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner will be in attendance with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

Trump, who is not scheduled to be physically present, is expected to make an address remotely.

Well-known controversial pastors – John Hagee and Robert Jeffress – will be among the U.S. envoy taking part in the event's ceremony.

Hagee is known for maintaining relationships with several Israeli prime ministers as well as wrangling pro-Israeli support with his Christians United for Israel organization. "I told him (Trump) that the moment that you do that (move the embassy), I believe that you will step into political immortality," CNN reported quoting Hagee. "Because you are having the courage to do what other presidents did not have the courage to do."

Jeffress, on the other hand, is notorious for making off-color statements, including that Islam endorses pedophilia, the Catholic church was led astray by Satan and that Mormonism is a cult.

Hagee is set to deliver the benediction, according to CNN, and Jeffress will say a prayer.

More than 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers during protests, causing UN human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein to accuse Israel of using "excessive force."

Israel has built a dozen settlements – deemed illegal by international law – for about 200,000 Jews, in East Jerusalem.


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