United States' Jerusalem embassy set to open

A woman walks next to a road sign directing to the new US embassy.
A woman walks next to a road sign directing to the new US embassy. Photo credit: Reuters

Preparations are underway for the new US Embassy in Jerusalem's opening ceremony on Monday.

The new embassy will open with an initial staff of at least 50, according to senior US officials previewing the highly anticipated opening.

The embassy is moving from Tel Aviv in line with US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Donald Trump announced in December, reversing nearly 70 years of American foreign policy. The Palestinians want the east of the city as their capital in a future state.

New Zealand condemned the move alongside 127 other countries at the United Nations, with only nine backing the move.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand would not be influenced by US President Donald Trump.

"We have always supported a two-state solution, we will continue to hold our position based on principle, regardless of what any other nation says," she said.

Roughly 800 guests will attend the opening on Monday, the 70th anniversary of the formation of the modern state of Israel. Officials say the US delegation doesn't plan to meet any Palestinian officials during their visit.

Initial embassy staff will include Ambassador David Friedman's aides and US consular officers already working at the site.

The embassy is opening in part of a pre-existing American visa-and-passport facility with a fraction of the total US personnel in Israel.

The officials weren't authorised to be identified by name and briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Around two thousand people marched in Rome on Saturday to protest the move.

Palestinian refugees and Italian activists asked Italy and the EU countries not to follow the US decision and raised concerns about the peace the region.

Similar demonstrations were held in Milan and Naples.

APTN / Newshub.