US embassy in Jerusalem opens amid Palestinian protests

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The US officially opened its deeply controversial Jerusalem embassy on Monday. (AFP)
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Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in attendance at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. (AFP)
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Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in attendance at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. (AFP)
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US ambassador to Israel David Friedman. (AFP)
Updated 15 May 2018

US embassy in Jerusalem opens amid Palestinian protests

  • Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, led the ceremonies
  • Opens amid deadly clashes along the Israeli-Palestinian border where more than 50 people are reported to have been killed

JERUSALEM: The US officially opened its deeply controversial Jerusalem embassy on Monday in a ceremony that included a video address by President Donald Trump.
Trump told the ceremony that the United States remained committed to reaching a lasting Middle East peace though the move of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has provoked outrage.
A plaque and seal was unveiled at the ceremony officially opening the embassy.
Earlier in the day, violent clashes erupted along the Gaza Strip's border, leaving at least 55 Palestinians dead from Israeli fire and thousands wounded in the conflict's bloodiest day in years.
Tens of thousands had gathered near the border in protest while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians approached the fence and sought to break through, with Israeli snipers positioned on the other side.
US ambassador to Israel David Friedman also spoke at the ceremony in Jerusalem and Trump was given a standing ovation when he mentioned him.
Friedman referred to the embassy's location as "Jerusalem, Israel" drawing wild applause.
US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan led the Washington delegation at the inauguration that also included Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Some 800 guests were attending the ceremony.
Jerusalem's status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.


Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane

Updated 17 min 56 sec ago

Iran seizes new boat near vital oil shipping lane

  • A naval patrol of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted the vessel carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz
  • It is the second such seizure this month, after a boat suspected of smuggling fuel was detained, earlier this month

TEHRAN: Iran has seized a boat suspected of being used to smuggle fuel and arrested its 11 crew members near a vital oil shipping lane, state television reported on Monday.
A naval patrol of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps intercepted the vessel carrying 250,000 liters of fuel near the Strait of Hormuz, state TV’s website said, citing a commander of the force.
“This boat was sailing from Bandar Lengeh toward United Arab Emirates waters before it was seized 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Greater Tunb island,” Brig. Gen. Ali Ozmayi was quoted as saying.
“The boat’s 11 crew members have been arrested,” he added, without saying when it happened or giving their nationality.
State television broadcast footage from the deck of a trawler-sized vessel with open hatches showing tanks full of what appeared to be fuel.
It is the second such seizure this month, after a boat suspected of smuggling fuel was detained and its 12 Filipino crew members arrested in the Strait of Hormuz on September 7.
The news of the latest incident comes with tensions brewing in the Gulf after weekend drone attacks on two major Saudi oil installations that the United States has blamed on Iran.
Arch-enemies Tehran and Washington have been locked in a tense standoff since the US in May 2018 unilaterally pulled out of a multilateral accord that limited the scope of Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
The escalation has been accompanied by ships being mysteriously attacked, drones downed and oil tankers seized in the Strait of Hormuz — a chokepoint for a third of world’s seaborne oil.