US Set to Open Embassy in Jerusalem

edited Monday 14 May 2018 in Politics

The Trump administration is set to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem Monday, formally breaking from decades of established American policy and international practice in a move that US officials say will create greater regional stability. The interim embassy will operate inside the existing U.S. consulate building in Jerusalem, while a search begins for a larger site.

A host of US top officials would grace the opening of the embassy including - President Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. President Trump is expected to address those attending Monday's event via video link.

Critics say the decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem, Israeli capital is at odd with the international community this could make a region already struggling with four ongoing conflicts all the more combustible vulnerable and. And they argue it marks the end of the US role as an "honest broker" in Israeli-Palestinian peace roadmap.

Palestinians gathered for large protests Monday in Gaza, where weeks of demonstrations and clashes have led to Israeli forces killing more than 40 Palestinians. Israeli troops fired across a border fence Monday, wounding several people. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as their own future capital and see the US move as backing Israeli control over the whole city.

Critics have faulted Israeli forces for using live fire, while Israel says its actions are necessary for security.

U.S. President Donald Trump pledged during his campaign to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and in December he broke with longstanding policy by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. That same month, the U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution rejecting Trump's decisions regarding Jerusalem.

Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its capital, while the Palestinians view East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The issue has long been seen as one of the last big items that would need to be resolved in any Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

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