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UK says has no plans to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds

UK Prime Minister Theresa May

The UK government says Britain has no plans to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds and still disagrees with the US decision to do so.

“The PM said in December when the announcement was first made that we disagree with the US decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem and recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital before a final status agreement,” Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman said on Monday.

“The British embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv and we have no plans to move it,” the spokesman told reporters.

He was speaking on a day when Washington opened its embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds, a controversial move that has already led to the death of dozens of Palestinians and is guaranteed to stir more violence in the occupied Palestinian lands.

An American delegation including White House officials and major Republican Party donors officially opened the American Embassy in the holy city on Monday.

Most foreign envoys to Tel Aviv were absent from the reception hosted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians who gathered near a Gaza fence for the climax of a six-week demonstration coinciding with the inauguration of the US embassy.

Israeli troops have killed 45 Palestinians since the demonstrations began on March 30, according to Palestinian health officials, while no Israeli casualties have been reported.

The death toll has drawn international criticism, but the United States which has angered Muslims with its embassy move, has supported Israel. 

The rallies known as the “Great March of Return” are due to climax on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) when Israel was created.

Every year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to commemorate the day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible Israeli eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948.

The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump announced on December 6 Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s so-called capital.

Trump also said he would relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

Most countries say the holy city’s status should be determined in a final peace settlement, and say moving their embassies now would prejudge any such deal.

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