Syria says U.S. move of embassy to Jerusalem "illegitimate"

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The embassy relocation came after U.S. President Donald Trump announced last December to recognize the holy city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision that has sparked an international outcry.

The Israelis seized East Jerusalem in 1967 and claimed the entire holy city as its eternal capital, while the Palestinians seek to build a future state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The ministry said that the Palestinian people's battle against Israel is a Syrian battle as well "because Israel supports the terrorist groups that kill the Syrian people."

It also stressed the Syrian government's full support to the struggle of the Palestinian people in clawing back their legitimate rights.

DAMASCUS, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Foreign Ministry slammed on Monday the U.S. decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem as "illegitimate," holding the United States responsible for the deaths of over 30 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, state news agency SANA reported.

More than 30 Palestinians were killed and nearly 2,000 others wounded in clashes with Israeli security troops Monday on the border between Israel and Gaza, amid mass demonstrations to protest over the U.S. move of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"This massacre can only be considered as a war crime and a crime against humanity," the ministry said.

The ministry also branded the relocation of the U.S. embassy as a "crime," saying such a U.S. stance has encouraged Israel to use force and commit a "massacre" against the Palestinian protestors along the border fence with Gaza.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Arab students have protested in front of the UN headquarters in Damascus against the U.S. decision, stressing that "Jerusalem will forever remain the capital of Palestine."