US opens embassy in Jerusalem amid Israel-Palestinian clashes

RSTV Bureau

US With Israel

In a historic move the  US on Monday opened its embassy in Jerusalem under a controversial move by President Donald Trump. The move further infuriated the Palestinians, who clashed with Israeli soldiers who shot dead at least 37 of them in Gaza, in the deadliest escalation of violence since 2014.

Trump, in an early morning tweet, hailed the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem as “a great day for Israel.”  Trump made no reference to the violence in an early morning tweet but said, “A great day for Israel!”

Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu said ” President Trump is making history. We are deeply grateful for his bold decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the embassy there tomorrow! ”

Israel marked a series of festivities on Sunday to celebrate US embassy’s relocation to Jerusalem, a move that further ignited Palestinian protests and vehemently oppose the American decision.
The city hosted a gala reception attended by US Presidential delegation that arrived in Israel on Sunday ahead of embassy opening. The delegation included President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin.

Meanwhile the Israeli leader tweeted “We are happy to host the distinguished US delegation in Israel representing President Trump: Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Jason Greenblatt, Amb. David Friedman, Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner. Welcome to Jerusalem – our capital!”

US President Donald Trump formally announced the shifting of US embassy to Jerusalem last year in December to seal it’s formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The relocation of embassy is however a contentious matter as Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, with its holy sites sacred to Muslims, Jews and Christians as the capital of a future Palestine.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed it in a move not recognized internationally. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and view the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv as a blatantly one-sided move that invalidates the US as a Mideast peace broker.

(With inputs from agencies)