Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner In Israel Ahead Of US Embassy Opening

Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner In Israel Ahead Of US Embassy Opening

Israel has vowed to stop any breach by force, raising the possibility of major bloodshed at a time when Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner preside over the embassy ceremony just 70 kilometres (45 miles) away.

Netanyahu on Sunday praised Trump's "bold decision" in upending decades of USA policy by relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The U.S. delegation also includes Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, plus Republican Sens.

The move infuriated the Palestinians, who claim Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem as their capital. At least 30 countries are sending representatives, mostly from Africa, Latin America and eastern Europe. Only two countries, Guatemala and Paraguay, have said they will follow suit.

Abbas, who for years had banked on the USA to persuade Israel to cede land for a Palestinian state, felt betrayed and halted contacts with the Trump administration.

Speaking to journalists in the Old City, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat hailed the United States embassy move as the beginning of "a new world order".

Thousands of police officers were deployed throughout the Jerusalem districts to thwart any Palestinian protests and riots.

The embassy is being relocated from Tel Aviv after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that overturned decades of US foreign policy.

They arrived in Israel on Sunday.

Gaza is run by Hamas, which Israel and the West designate a terrorist organization. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the global community.

This year's celebration took on added significance due to the embassy move the following day.

Dozens of Palestinian demonstrators had broken into the Gaza side of the Kerem Shalom terminal, the main conduit for goods in and out of the territory, on Friday. It will also be given to all world leaders who move their embassies to Jerusalem and was recently bestowed on Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.

Trump announced his decision on Jerusalem in December, triggering a joyous reaction from Netanyahu's nationalist government.

"The reason is simple: For over 3,000 years it has been the capital of our people, and only of our people".

The army said it was reinforcing its troops in the West Bank with several combat battalions and intelligence units in case of possible unrest there as well.

An Israeli man confronts a Palestinian woman at Damascus gate in Jerusalem on Sunday as Israeli settlers celebrate Jerusalem Day in the Old City.

"They kill their own".

There were already tensions in the weeks before the embassy move.

No Israelis have been wounded and the military has faced criticism over the use of live fire.

The Israeli military said it beefed up forces along the Gaza border and dropped leaflets into the Gaza Strip urging residents to keep their distance from the border fence, the Associated Press reported.

A high-ranking delegation of Gaza's Hamas rulers headed Sunday to Egypt, amid diplomatic efforts aimed at containing Monday's mass rally.

His decision to move operations from Tel Aviv angered Palestinians.

The fate of Jerusalem is a deeply emotional issue at the heart of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

In the decades since 1967, worldwide consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides, but Trump broke with that to global outrage.

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