Bolton: Recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel 'enhances the chances for peace'

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman shown in March sees progress in Middle East peace despite the controversial move of Washington's embassy to Jerusalem

Trump announced in December his decision to keep a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and began the process to move the U.S. Embassy there.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war - as the capital of a future state.

President Donald Trump will address around 800 U.S. and Israeli dignitaries at the ceremonial opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem by video on Monday, the United States ambassador said. Those protests are to climax Monday, with tens of thousands of people expected to gather along the Israeli border in an event timed to coincide with the U.S. Embassy move.

The Israeli military said Saturday it was shutting down its main cargo crossing into Gaza after Palestinian protesters caused extensive damage to it, and that it had also destroyed an attack tunnel militants dug near its main pedestrian crossing.

On Monday, the official dedication ceremony will be held in the new US consulate-turned-embassy in Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood.

The embassy move will take place on the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding, while the following day Palestinians will mark the Nakba, or "catastrophe", commemorating the more than 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were expelled in the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.

Observers say there is concern that expanding Palestinian protests may lead to clashes with Israeli forces. No Israelis have been injured.

Delegation members include President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, her husband Jared Kushner and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

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Gaza Health ministry said in an official statement that 49 Palestinians were killed and more than 8,000 injured by Israeli army gunfire since the beginning of the marches.

Fatah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations are calling for protests along the Gaza border fence in addition to confrontations between IDF soldiers, as well as violence in areas of Yehuda and Shomron, and in front of Israeli diplomatic facilities around the globe.

Nationalist Israelis view the day as a holiday marking the unification of the city under Israeli control.

The Old City in east Jerusalem is home to key holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims. He promised to move the American Embassy to Israel and he is doing so.

"It's been the capital of our state for the past 70 years".

A Palestinian man has been shot dead and dozens more wounded as tensions flare on the border between Gaza and Israel.

The FOZ Award has been presented to a variety of world leaders including US President George W. Bush and President Donald Trump.

The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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