Friday, 22 June, 2018

'US Embassy' Road Signs Installed in Jerusalem

As Jerusalem's mayor affixes US embassy signs, PA official demands global boycott Trump Left Off White House Attendee List for Jerusalem Embassy Opening
Charlie Simmons | 08 May, 2018, 02:05

Road signs directing vehicles and pedestrians to the "US Embassy" were erected on Monday across Jerusalem only days ahead of the relocation of America's mission from Tel Aviv to the US's newly recognized capital.

"The Embassy will initially be located in the Arnona neighborhood, in a modern building that now houses consular operations of U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement in February.

In December, US President Donald Trump called Jerusalem the capital of Israel and launched the process to transfer his country's embassy to the city. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the USA move saying that Washington has lost its credibility as mediator in the Middle East crisis. Israel has made repeated offers of a two-state solution, once even offering to internationalize Jerusalem, but the Palestinians rejected them.

On Monday, in preparation for the move, the US Embassy in Tel Aviv changed its Twitter handle to @usembassyjlm, announcing the change with a tweet.

The global community considers the annexation illegal and considers east Jerusalem as occupied territory.

The Palestinian authorities have called on the diplomatic corps, worldwide non-governmental organizations and religious authorities to boycott the opening of the United States embassy in Jerusalem.

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The president, who has charged Kushner with brokering a peace deal, said he has "taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table".

Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who serve as advisers to the president, will also attend.

Israel claims the entire city as its eternal capital. The annual holiday celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem with Israeli victory in the Six Day War.

Palestinians say that moving the embassy would prejudge one of the most sensitive issues in the conflict - the status of Jerusalem - and undermine the US' status as an honest mediator.

If Trump attended the ceremony, it might have amplified protests that are expected to break out around the opening.

The embassy is to get a festive inauguration on Monday next week, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel.

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