Friedman still hopeful for peace after Jerusalem embassy move

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It would be politically hard for any Trump successor to move the embassy back to Tel Aviv, though the next administration could theoretically still try to broker talks on the future of Jerusalem, said Nathan Thrall of the International Crisis Group think tank.

"Tragically, the US administration has chosen to side with Israel's exclusivist claims over a city that has for centuries been sacred to all faiths", the general delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation to the United States said.

On 6 December, 2017, Trump declared Jerusalem, both East and West, as the capital of Israel, and began to transfer its embassy there, which ignited anger in the Palestinian territories, while eliciting as well Arab, Islamic, and worldwide condemnation.

The members of the United States presidential delegation who will attend Monday's opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem arrived in Israel on Sunday.

In Gaza, a strip of land Israel has blockaded for a decade, tens of thousands of people are anticipated to gather for protests along the perimeter fence. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new "intifada", or uprising.

Israeli snipers have killed dozens and wounded more than 1,700 when firing on demonstrators in past rallies, according to Gazan health officials.

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Meanwhile, Israel will welcome the embassy move and also mark its 70th year of independence since its creation in 1948.

President Trump's last name is used for branding purposes throughout the world.

Washington has not asked Israel to initiate peace moves in exchange for the embassy relocation, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman told reporters on Friday: "There was no give and take with Israel with regard to this decision". President Trump has remained a strong Friend of Zion. The new embassy is to open on Monday. Previous recipients of the award are also President George W. Bush, Prince Albert II of Monaco, President Rosen Plevneliev of Bulgaria and recently also President Jimmy Morales of Guatemala, for declaring he will move the embassy to Jerusalem. Nethanyahu praised President Trump's "bold decision" to move the embassy to contested Jerusalem.

He tells ABC's "This week" that "if you're not prepared to recognize that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that's where the American Embassy should be, then you're operating on a completely different wavelength".

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the delegation that will include Mr Trump's daughter Ivanka, her husband and senior White House aide Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The State Department said in a statement that the administration remains committed to brokering a lasting peace deal.

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