Israelis celebrate US Embassy's move; Palestinian protests loom

by Abel Hampton May 14, 2018, 5:04
Israelis celebrate US Embassy's move; Palestinian protests loom

Trump announced in December his decision to keep a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and began the process to move the U.S. Embassy there.

Those talks have been frozen since 2014.

Several European countries, including USA allies such as the United Kingdom, France and German, are not sending representatives to the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, his senior adviser, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin will lead the US delegation.

"Jerusalem is mentioned in the Bible approximately 650 times", Netanyahu said.

Gaza is run by Hamas, which Israel and the West designate a terrorist organization.

"Big week next week when the American Embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem. We will pray for the boundless potential of the future of the U.S. -Israel alliance, and we will pray for peace".

"They are not reacting well", Ambassador David Friedman said on Saturday of the Palestinians, who view the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Among those present were delegates from Guatemala and Paraguay, which will open their own Jerusalem embassies later this month.

However, dozens of other foreign diplomats are expected, including representatives from Hungary, Romania and the Czech Republic - countries which reportedly blocked a joint European Union statement on the issue.

No-show nations withheld comment on Sunday.

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.

On Sunday, scuffles broke out between Israelis visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in east Jerusalem's Old City, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, and Palestinian security officers. Witnesses said some prostrated themselves in Jewish prayer, violating religious restrictions at the site and sparking scuffled with Muslim worshippers. The Israeli military said the crowd had grown violent and that troops were defending the border.

Lindsey Graham's office said he would be among a delegation of senators, also including Ted Cruz, who would attend the opening ceremony and meet with Israeli officials about "counter-terrorism and national security issues".

Once again, thousands of Palestinians protested Friday in various locations along the frontier.

Since March 30, the Palestinians have been organizing protests, demonstrations and rallies calling it "the Great March of Return".

Although Trump has said his declaration does not set the final borders of the city, his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital has been perceived by both Israel and the Palestinians as taking Israel's side in the most sensitive issue in their conflict.

And although Donald Trump is fulfilling his election promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem, he also promised a peace accord between the Israelis and Palestinians. The U.S. consulate in the city, tasked with handling Palestinian ties, will remain.

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