The global rejection of US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal last week has given the Palestinians a new "source of hope", according to a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as Israeli moves and the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem appeared to have dealt major blows to their hopes of statehood.
"And that ensures virtually no deal and the likelihood of violence over Jerusalem in the future", he said. "Do not approach the security fence nor participate in the Hamas display that is putting you in risk".
Outside Jerusalem's ancient Damascus Gate, Israelis danced in another celebration on Sunday, marking the capture of the Old City from Arab forces in the 1967 Middle East War.
The move prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to halt ties with the Trump administration, declaring it unfit to remain in its role as the sole mediator in peace talks.
That is the background for tomorrow's opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
But on Sunday top U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said they could still push forward the troubled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
More than a decade ago, Israel built a West Bank separation barrier that slices through Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, forcing tens of thousands of Palestinian residents of the city to cross crowded checkpoints to get to downtown areas. He said the military was doubling its troops along the border in advance of this week's protests and that Israel would not allow the area to become an active combat zone.
Eyewitnesses, meanwhile, reported that Israeli warplanes targeted an open area of land in the town of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. And the Muslim month of Ramadan also starts this week, which regularly brings a spike in tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.
Forty-two protesters have been killed during the past month of weekly protests.
The Palestinian body in charge of coordination at the crossing confirmed the closure. "Even though I don't have a clear political stance, I just wanted to show people that there's no reason to take the path of hate rather than that of love and compassion". But one of the Hamas participants, Khalil al-Hayya, said there were no breakthroughs and the march would go on as planned.
The decision announced by US President Donald Trump in December has angered Palestinians, who view the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state.
In making what officials describe as a deliberate 180-degree policy shift from the previous administration, the Trump White House believes that by making the embassy move, they're empowering Israel to deal from a position of strength, make concessions and create peace.
The president considered the idea of visiting Jerusalem for the Embassy opening where his popularity is strong from both the left and right, but ultimately chose to stay home.