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US officially opens its Jerusalem embassy as Israel massacres scores of Palestinian protesters

The event took place as Palestinians protested on the Gaza border with Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 May, 2018

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The United States officially opened its controversial embassy in Jerusalem on Monday amid the deadliest crackdown in years on protests in the Gaza Strip.

The United States officially opened its controversial embassy in Jerusalem on Monday amid the deadliest crackdown in years on protests in the Gaza Strip.

US President Donald Trump told the audience via video address that Washington remained committed to reaching a lasting Middle East peace though the move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The event took place as Palestinians held a mass protest on the Gaza border with Israel.

At least 41 people were killed on Sunday, in the deadliest day of cross-border violence since a 2014 war.

Tens of thousands of people had gathered near the Gaza border in protest, as Israeli snipers opened live fire on the protesters, some of whom threw stones at the soldiers.

No Israelis have been killed or wounded since protests started on March 30.

The ceremony began with the US national anthem.

Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump, both top aides to Trump, led a US delegation that also includes the treasury secretary and four Republican senators.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke at the event, thanking the Trump administration of

"By recognising history, you have made history," Netanyahu said, addressing the US leader.

"Our brave soldeirs are protecting our borders as we sit here today," he added.

Some 800 guests attended the ceremony.

Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

East Jerusalem is considered occupied Palestinian territory under international law.

In the decades since Israel's 1967 occupation, international consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke with that to global outrage.

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