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President Abbas’ fierce condemnation of US Embassy opening in Jerusalem

President Abbas says the opening of the embassy will create incitement and instability in the region and he's ruled out Washington as being a mediator for Middle East peace.

A picture taken on 14 May 2018, shows a general view of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem. The United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem after months of global outcry, Palestinian anger and exuberant praise from Israelis over President Donald Trump's decision tossing aside decades of precedent. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG/JERUSALEM - The opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem has drawn fierce condemnation from the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas amid deadly protests on the Gaza border.

Israeli troops killed dozens of Palestinians taking part in mass protests on the frontier on Monday as the United States fulfilled a pledge by President Donald Trump, who has recognised the holy city as the Israeli capital.

In a video message on Monday afternoon, Trump described it as "a great day".

“Israel is a sovereign nation with a right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital. Yet for many years, we’ve failed to acknowledge the obvious, the plain reality that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem.”

But it's fired Palestinian anger and drawn criticism from many foreign governments as a setback to peace efforts.

President Abbas says the opening of the embassy will create incitement and instability in the region and he's ruled out Washington as being a mediator for Middle East peace.

At the embassy inauguration ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for “having the courage to keep your promises.”

The new embassy opened with prayers after which Trump gave a recorded message.

Trump said he was fully committed to facilitating lasting peace and extended a hand in friendship to Israelis and Palestinians.

In unveiling the seal of the embassy, his daughter and a senior White House official Ivanka Trump welcomed everyone on behalf of the American Presidency.

But outside, hundreds of anti-Trump Israelites were clashing with the police; holding signs and chanting slogans against the embassy opening and the occupation.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)