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US Embassy Opens in Jerusalem
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Summary: Despite controversy along the Israeli-Gaza border, the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. 

On Monday, the US Embassy opened in Jerusalem. It was previously located in Tel Aviv, and President Donald Trump’s decision to move it was met with praise from some conservatives but has caused protests along the Israeli-Gaza border, according to CNN.

  
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“Today, Jerusalem is the seam of Israel’s government. It is the home of the Israeli legislature and the Israeli supreme court and Israel’s prime minister and president. Israel is a sovereign nation with the right like every other sovereign nation to determine its own capital, yet for many years, we failed to acknowledge the obvious, the plain reality that Israel’s capital is Jerusalem,” President Trump said. “As I said in December, our greatest hope is for peace.”

The violence along the border has killed 43 Palestinians in Gaza so far, and this bloodshed is said to be the deadliest day since the 2014 Gaza war, CNN stated.

The embassy was opened with a ceremony, which Trump was not able to attend, but his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner were present. US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin unveiled the US seal.

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Kushner, a senior advisor to President Trump, made a speech at the unveiling, and he called for unity in the area.

“We believe, it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give — so that all people can live in peace — safe from danger, free from fear, and able to pursue their dreams,” Kushner said. “Jerusalem must remain a city that brings people of all faiths together.”



Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was present at the ceremony on Monday, and he said that the alliance between Israel and the US was “stronger than ever.” Hours before the unveiling, he thanked Trump on Twitter, and in person, he thanked Trump again, saying the 45th president “made history.”

“What a glorious day, remember this moment. This is history,” Netanyahu said at the embassy. “President Trump by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved, all of us are deeply grateful.”

While those attending the embassy opening seemed happy, the scene outside was vasty different. Israeli police kept Palestinian protestors at bay, and at least fourteen people were arrested.

Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem was controversial because the city is home to holy sites for Jews and Christians and Palestinians wanted to reclaim a part of the city.

Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian Authority’s Prime Minister, said that it was disrespectful to open the Jerusalem embassy the day before Nakba, a day when Palestinians observed their displacement from their homes in 1948 so that the state of Israel could be formed. Monday’s opening is also occurring the same week the Muslim holy month is starting.

“Put together, the embassy move is happening at a chaotic, unpredictable, and dangerous time for both the region and Israel itself. And though the White House says that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem will increase stability and the chance of peace, there’s a real reason to worry that it will do the opposite,” Vox wrote.

What do you think of the US embassy’s move to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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