Most foreign envoys absent as Israel, US launch embassy festivities

Hugh Fox
May 14, 2018

They arrived in Israel on Sunday.

Gaza health facilities are preparing for mass casualties ahead of an anticipated large rally this week at Israel's border. Forty-two Palestinians have been killed and over 1,800 have been wounded by Israeli fire since the weekly protests began on March 30. "The Palestinians feel that East Jerusalem should be the capital of a future Palestinian state".

Trump says he is making good on USA legislation and presidential pledges dating back decades.

The few foreign embassies built in West Jerusalem moved to the less controversial beachfront city of Tel Aviv.

Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, speaking in a recording released on Sunday, the eve of plans by the United States to move its embassy to Jerusalem, said that Tel Aviv was also Muslim land.

Saeb Erekat, a senior Abbas aide, blasted the Trump administration Monday, saying Trump had violated a promise to hold off on moving the embassy to give peace talks a chance and that his administration is "based on lies".

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Two decades later, another war erupted and Israel captured East Jerusalem and the Old City from Jordan.

As well as the protests by the Palestinians, demonstrations are expected on Monday in other Arab capitals where governments have argued that the status of Jerusalem should only form part of a final peace agreement. From this perspective, the decision is potentially destructive to the principle of two states for two peoples, which most of the global community has adopted as a de facto alternative to the UN Partition Plan.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, the head of the Washington delegation, called the embassy move "a long overdue recognition of reality".

Dozens of foreign diplomats are expected, though many ambassadors of European nations who oppose the move will skip it. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania have reportedly blocked a joint EU statement on the issue.

Israel's army said it would nearly double the number of troops surrounding the Gaza Strip and in the occupied West Bank.

On Saturday Conricus said the rules of engagement had not been changed. In the decades since 1967, worldwide consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke with that to global outrage.

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"Tragically, the U.S. administration has chosen to side with Israel's exclusivist claims over a city that has for centuries been sacred to all faiths", the general delegation of the Palestine Liberation Organisation to the United States said.

As the Jerusalem Post notes, making the switch might prove hard.

Those protests are expected to climax on Monday, with tens of thousands of people expected to gather along the Israeli border in an event timed to coincide with the USA embassy move. I think tomorrow will be continued very strong coordinated security between the USA and Israel and we're hoping all that hard work pays off.

KENYON: Yes, I think you could say that.

Monday's opening will be attended by Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who both serve as White House advisers.

The army said it also was reinforcing its troops in the West Bank with several combat battalions and intelligence units in case of possible unrest there as well.

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