US to Move Embassy to Jerusalem as Mideast Tensions Simmer
Sputnik / Amit Sha’alWorld11:32 14.05.2018(updated 11:43 14.05.2018) Get short URL
Monday will see the official opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, five months after President Donald Trump announced the move, which has prompted a wave of protests from Palestinians.
Who Will Attend?
Although President Donald Trump will not attend the May 15 ceremony of relocating the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, he will take part a relevant video address later this day.
The ceremony will be attended by US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, US special envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Trump’s daughter Ivanka, as well as presidential adviser and Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner.
READ MORE: Muslim States Protest US Embassy Transfer to Jerusalem (PHOTO, VIDEO)
Headed by Deputy Defense Minister John Sullivan, the American delegation includes a total of 250 guests of honor, including congressmen and religious leaders.
With many other foreign diplomats also invited to the ceremony, some have decided not to attend in a show of protest against the relocation.Thirty-four of the 86 diplomats accredited have confirmed their attendance, including the ambassadors of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria, which is not the case with the ambassadors of Germany and France.
Protests in the Wake of Trump’s Decision
Hamas has said that they expect tens of thousands of people will join Monday’s march of protests in Gaza.
Earlier, Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh promised that “all the Palestinians will take to the streets” on May 14 and May 15 to say their “no” to the relocation.
AFP 2018 / Ahmad GHARABLIIsraeli security forces stand guard at Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City on May 13, 2018
The statement was followed by violent clashes between Jews and Arabs as up to a thousand Jews ascended Temple Mount in honor of Jerusalem Day, which marks 51 years since the Old City became a part of Israel.
READ MORE: Palestinian Authorities Urge to Boycott Opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem
US President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and ordering the US Embassy to be moved there from Tel Aviv has prompted condemnation from Muslim states and countries backing a two-state solution.
The move also sparked mass outrage across the Arab world, resulting in the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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Already two weeks after Trump announced the decision, 220 people in the Gaza Strip were injured in protests against the US president’s move as the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization Hamas announced the beginning of the third “intifada” against the controversial decision.
Brief Historical Background
Back in 1995, the US Congress passed a law on the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, but the move had not come into force for years mainly due to Washington’s fears that the implementation of the law would add to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
President Trump had signaled his readiness to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem since his election campaign in 2016, saying that “more pro-Israel than I am.”
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In June 2017, the US Senate approved a resolution calling for the Trump administration to implement the law, something that was followed by Trump’s announcement in early December to relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Israel annexed then Jordan-controlled East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six-Day War. In 1980, the Israeli Parliament adopted the Jerusalem Law, proclaiming the city as the “complete and united” capital of the country.
The international community does not recognize the annexation, considering the status of the city to be one of the core problems of the Middle Eastern conflict, which they say should be resolved on the basis of an agreement with the Palestinians, who claim the eastern part of Jerusalem.