May 20, 2018 / 3:55 PM / 5 months ago

Thousands of Moroccans protest against US Jerusalem embassy move

CASABLANCA, Morocco (Reuters) - More than 10,000 Moroccans chanting “Death to Israel” took to the streets of Casablanca on Sunday to protest against the U.S. decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Pro-Palestinian protesters lie on the ground as they take part in a demonstration organized by Al Adl wal Ihsane, a Moroccan Islamist association, in solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Casablanca, Morocco May 20, 2018. REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

The marchers carried Palestinian flags and placards that read “Al Quds (Jerusalem) Palestine’s eternal capital”. Most appeared to be Islamists, with women wearing headscarves and marching separately from men.

The United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, moving it from Tel Aviv, a move that reversed decades of U.S. policy and delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians.

Slideshow (7 Images)

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who with broad international backing want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as their capital.

Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it annexed after the 1967 conflict, as its capital. The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has said the city’s final borders should be decided by the parties.

On the day the United States opened its new embassy, Israeli troops killed 60 Palestinian demonstrators near the border in Gaza. Israel says the violence was incited by Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza. Hamas denies blame.

The Casablanca protest had been called by a coalition of four parties including the Islamist opposition group al-Adl Wal Ihsan which is seen as Morocco’s most powerful opposition group in terms of rallying supporters on the street.

Reporting by Ahmed ElJechtimi and Youssef Boudlal, Editing by Ulf Laessing, William Maclean

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