Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

US Embassy in Jerusalem Opens to a Fraught Climate

US Embassy in Jerusalem Opens to a Fraught Climate

Part of the U.S. Consulate building on Monday will become the embassy, which now is in Tel Aviv.

"Big week next week when the American Embassy in Israel will be moved to Jerusalem".

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that the United States' decision on Jerusalem has brought the Israeli-Palestinian settlement to a standstill.

Last December, Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and ordered the relocation of the United States embassy there from Tel Aviv.

The new embassy will operate temporarily from the U.S. Consulate compound, which is partially located in the old no man's land and partially in west Jerusalem.

The members of the USA presidential delegation who will attend Monday's opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem arrived in Israel on Sunday.

Both the embassy move and the protests have symbolic timing.

The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, and view the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city as a one-sided move that invalidates the USA as a Middle East peace broker.

Abbas wants east Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state that would include the other war-won territories.

In a reflection of the deep sensitivities, dozens of countries - including Britain, France and Germany - skipped Sunday night's celebration at the Israeli Foreign Ministry. But just a month later Trump told Netanyahu he had taken Jerusalem "off the table" and that "we don't have to talk about it anymore".

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Iranian forces in Syria sent rockets into the occupied Golan Heights, and Israel has launched missile strikes against Iranian military installations in Syria.

US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka, his senior adviser, and son-in-law Jared Kushner, as well as Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin will lead the US delegation.

Egypt opens the crossing from time to time, mainly to allow people in special categories, including medical patients and Gaza residents studying overseas, to leave the territory or return to it.

More than a decade ago, Israel built a West Bank separation barrier that slices through Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, forcing tens of thousands of Palestinian residents of the city to cross crowded checkpoints to get to downtown areas.

The prime minister, hinting that other countries were thinking of following suit, said "we won't say who because that's a state secret".

The IDF said violent protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers at five major points along the border. Speaking to CBS News' "Face the Nation", Gates said it remains to be seen if the move could further embolden worldwide tensions, but noted past reluctance in making such a politically fraught change. The move has sparked strong global condemnation and comes as tensions grow between Israel and Iran.

Fifty-four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since mass protests broke out along the border on March 30.

The army says it is defending its border and uses live fire only as a last resort.

While the embassy move announcement didn't initially spark as much violence as predicted by some opponents of the move, it has helped fuel protests in the Gaza Strip, where thousands of Palestinians have turned out each Friday at the border fence to call for their right to return to what is now Israel. The worldwide consensus remains that the status of the Jerusalem should be part of final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

In the decades since 1967, global consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke that deal by deciding to move the embassy there.

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