37 killed in Gaza, ahead of US Jerusalem embassy opening

Elena Summers
May 14, 2018

The inauguration ceremony of the new us embassy in Jerusalem started on Monday afternoon, as Israeli and USA officials gathered in the city amidst deadly clashes in the Gaza Strip.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine, Sheikh Mohammed Ahmed Hussein, warned of the Israeli authorities' decision to ban the Muslim call to prayer today during the U.S. embassy move from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem.

The violence comes just hours before Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and other dignitaries open the embassy, featuring a pre-recorded speech by President Trump.

Trump did not attend the Jerusalem event in person.

Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, led the USA delegation with a single message: Only Trump had the courage to act on what America has wanted for a long time.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said Palestinians are practising their right to protest and demanding their legitimate rights. "May there be peace". The Palestinians seek the city's eastern half as the capital of a future state.

At least 43 Palestinians were killed in Gaza as deadly protests took place ahead of and during the ceremony in Jerusalem - making it the deadliest day there since the 2014 Gaza war.

"Today is one of the most ferocious days our people have seen", Abbas said, before turning his thoughts to the newly-anointed US Embassy.

The opening of the Embassy happened a day after Israel celebrated Jerusalem Day, marking what Israelis consider the reunification of the city. "Before we were suffering from illegal Israeli settlements".

Friedman, an outspoken supporter of Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank who has previously questioned the need for a Palestinian state, tells NPR that "President Trump's made clear that if the Israelis and the Palestinians agree to a two-state solution, he would support it".

The administration's Jerusalem recognition and embassy move "do not reflect a departure to our commitment to lasting peace", says Kushner.

Aaron David Miller, a former State Department Middle East analyst under Democratic and Republican administrations, called the embassy decision "totally untethered from USA national interests".

Saeb Erekat, a senior Abbas aide, said Monday that Trump had violated a promise to hold off on moving the embassy to give peace talks a chance and that his administration is "based on lies".

Hamas leaders have suggested a border breach is possible today, something Israel has vowed to prevent at any cost.

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