Israelis celebrate US Embassy's move; Palestinian protests loom

Israelis celebrate US Embassy's move; Palestinian protests loom

Kerry Wise
May 14, 2018

The ambassador said staff at the Tel Aviv mission had just marked its last day as an embassy and some of them will turn up for work tomorrow at the Jerusalem embassy, which will host an opening ceremony later that day.

Israel seized the eastern part of Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War and claimed the whole city as its capital, but Palestinians believe that the capital of an independent state of theirs belongs in East Jerusalem. It will also be given to all world leaders who move their embassies to Jerusalem and was recently bestowed on Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.

A small interim embassy will open inside the existing United States consulate building in Jerusalem on Monday, while a larger site will be found later when the rest of the embassy moves from Tel Aviv.

The event, however, was shunned by most European Union countries. The weekly protests along the Israel-Gaza border are expected to culminate on Monday in parallel with the celebrations in Jerusalem.

"President Trump promised to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and he did so". Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled for several years and Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have expanded.

She is one of five USA officials who are part of the delegation for the opening, led by Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, that President Donald Trump will not attend.

But Netanyahu insisted the embassy move is "the right thing to do" and ordered other countries to follow suit.

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The border protests are building to a climax on May 15, the day Palestinians call the "Nakba" or "Catastrophe", marking the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the conflict surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.

Fatah, Hamas and other terrorist organizations are calling for protests along the Gaza border fence in addition to confrontations between IDF soldiers, as well as violence in areas of Yehuda and Shomron, and in front of Israeli diplomatic facilities around the globe.

He says Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jews for thousands of years, and any peace agreement will include Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Observers say there is concern that expanding Palestinian protests may lead to clashes with Israeli forces.

Marchers dressed in white held Israeli flags as they filed through central Jerusalem toward the Old City with music blaring, including the song "Toy" by Israel's Netta Barzilai, who won the Eurovision Song Contest early Sunday.

Both the embassy move and the protests have symbolic timing.

He has argued that it helps make peace possible by taking Jerusalem "off the table", but many have pointed out he has not announced concessions in return from Israel.