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Muslim countries protesting US-Israel embassy move

Thousands of protesters in Jordan, Turkey and Indonesia have staged rallies to condemn the US decision to relocate its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

In Jordan, a crowd of nearly 7,000 staged a rally in the Jordan Valley area on Friday to voice solidarity with Palestinian protesters.

In the Turkish city of Istanbul, several thousand people protested against the relocation of the US embassy to al-Quds, holding Palestinian and Turkish flags and carrying signs reading “Palestine belongs to the Palestinians” and “al-Quds belongs to Muslims.”

In Indonesia, nearly 5,000 protesters staged a demonstration in the capital city of Jakarta and unfurled Indonesian and Palestinian flags.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has no diplomatic ties with Israel and has long supported Palestinian aspirations for statehood.

Diplomats from many countries have reportedly declined to attend a reception ceremony for the embassy relocation ceremony in the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds in a show of anger at President Donald Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital. The reception ceremony is scheduled to be held a day before the official relocation on Monday.

Last December, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s so-called capital and relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, breaking with decades of American policy.

His decision infuriated the Palestinians, who declared that Washington could no longer play a role as a mediator in the so-called Middle East peace process. It also sparked outrage across the Muslim world and even among Washington’s Arab allies.

On December 21, the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital.

Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are expected to hold massive protests along the fence between the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories on the day of the US embassy relocation. The rally, which will cap several weeks of deadly protests in the coastal enclave, coincides with the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), when Israel was created in 1948.

At least 52 unarmed Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli live fire since the protests began on March 30.

The Israeli regime has faced international criticism over its use of live fire, with the United Nations and the European Union calling for an independent investigation. Tel Aviv has rejected the call.

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