Israel prepares for inauguration of new US embassy in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM – Israel prepares on Sunday for the opening ceremony of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, a move that has sparked Palestinian protests.

A reception for the US delegation is held on Sunday afternoon at the foreign ministry in Jerusalem. US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his senior adviser, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin lead the delegation.

Israeli foreign ministry said that 86 foreign ambassadors to Israel were invited to the opening ceremony. About 40 of them accepted the invitation. Four European countries — Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary — have confirmed their participation although the European Union opposes the relocation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the official reception on the occasion of the opening of the US Embassy at ‎the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, on May 13, 2018. [Photo/VCG]

At the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the relocation would be “a truly historic thing”.

Thousands of police officers were deployed throughout the Jerusalem districts for fear of Palestinian protests and riots. Additionally, police officers will stand in a “human wall” between the neighborhood of Arnona, where the new embassy is located, and the Palestinian Sur Baher, the police said.

Israel seized East Jerusalem, together with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East war. It annexed East Jerusalem shortly later, claiming it part of its “indivisible capital,” in a move which was not recognized internationally.

On Dec 16, 2017, Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a move that triggered new violence in the region.

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. Following Trump’s move, they said the United States cannot be considered as a fair peace broker in the Middle East.

This article provided by NewsEdge.

This article provided by NewsEdge.