U.S. embassy in Jerusalem creates instability

The embassy move follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last December to break with decades of U.S. policy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
A worker hangs a road sign directing to the U.S. embassy, in the area of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem - Photo: Ronen Zvulun/REUTERS
14/05/2018
16:42
Reuters
JERUSALEM/GAZA
-A +A

On Monday, the United States opened its embassy in Jerusalem, a move that has delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians.

The embassy move follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last December to break with decades of U.S. policy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision, saying it reflected that “the Jewish people have had a capital for 3,000 years, and that it is called Jerusalem.”

But the move upset the Arab world and Western allies. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a “slap in the face” and said the United States can no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace talks with Israel.

“Our greatest hope is for peace,” U.S. President said in the recorded video message, even as a spokesman for the Palestinian president accused him of sowing instability by overturning decades of U.S. policy on the status of the city.

The inauguration of the embassy was even hailed by Netanyahu as a “glorious day.”

Trump opted not to attend the ceremony in which a U.S. consular building was repurposed into an embassy, pending the construction of a new facility, probably years away.

His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, both White House advisers, were there, seated next to Netanyahu opposite a stage with a backdrop of U.S. and Israeli flags. Two American pastors and a rabbi gave invocations.

The comments were telling, just a week after Trump announced Washington’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, a move that critics said weakened global trust in the United States.

Palestinians, with broad international backing, seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they want to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed, as its “eternal and indivisible capital”. The Trump administration has avoided that description and noted that the city’s final borders should be decided by the parties.

u.s._embassy_in_jerusalem_opening.jpg
Senior White House Adviser Ivanka Trump (L) stands next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, and (R) a wounded Palestinian demonstrator is evacuated as others take cover from Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip - Photo: Ronen Zvulun and Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/REUTERS

While coverage of the embassy ceremony ran on Israeli television stations, other stations broadcasted the violence along Israel’s border with Gaza, where dozens of Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli gunfire.

Amid expressions of international concern and condemnation over the use of live ammunition, Israel said it was taking the necessary measures to prevent any breach of its border fence with the enclave run by the militant Hamas movement.

In the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since 2014, Palestinian Health Ministry officials said 55 protesters were killed and 2,700 injured either by live gunfire, tear gas or other means.

The bloodshed drew calls for restraint from some countries, including France and Britain, and stronger criticism from others, with Turkey calling it “a massacre.”

sg

Mantente al día con el boletín de El Universal

 

COMENTARIOS