Jerusalem: Israel is preparing a series of festivities to celebrate the opening of the new United States Embassy in Jerusalem, a move that has ignited Palestinian protests.
The US will move its embassy to Jerusalem on 14 May in a highly anticipated move that has sparked Palestinian anger and irked the European Union. Undeterred by the criticism, Israel’s Foreign Ministry is hosting a mega event today to mark the move.
The event will see representatives from across the world, including four from the EU that voiced opposition to the move.
The reception today will include members of a delegation led by President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka, his senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner and Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin.
Dozens of foreign diplomats are expected, though many ambassadors of European nations who oppose the move will skip it.
The Jews had recaptured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel annexed it in a move not recognised internationally. The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of their future nation-state, and view the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv as a blatantly one-sided move that invalidates the US as a Mideast peace broker.
While US President Donald Trump, who vowed to move the embassy from Tel Aviv during his campaign, isn’t attending the function, he will address invitees to the designation ceremony via video conference. Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will be among the US delegation.
“It is time to officially recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump had declared on 6 December, saying that he hoped the move could spur renewed peace negotiations.
Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday ahead of the opening ceremony for the American embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.