55 killed as U.S. opens embassy in Occupied Jerusalem

Frederick Owens
May 15, 2018

It was the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since the Gaza conflict in 2014.

The opening of the new embassy was greeted with bipartisan support in the U.S.

Officials said that there does not appear to be a specific terror threat, but rather the USA will be watching for signs of additional destabilizing and escalatory Iranian military actions or surrogate operations through Hezbollah.

Addressing dignitaries at the Foreign Ministry, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the president's daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the Israeli prime minister urged others to follow Washington's lead.

Palestinian American relations have plunged to a new low.

In his remarks, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin thanked American leaders for making the move possible. But not Trump. "When President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it".

Along the Gaza border, crowds built throughout the day in the Palestinian enclave less than 100 kilometres (60 miles) away from Jerusalem and sealed off from Israel by a blockade.

This time Palestinians say they regard America as firmly on the side of Israel.

About 800 guests attended the ceremony.

The clashes, which left more than 2,400 Palestinians wounded, erupted before a White House delegation and Israeli officials opened the embassy at an inauguration ceremony in Jerusalem and continued throughout the day.

The additional Marines "are uniquely postured to respond expeditiously", the Marine Corps statement said. "We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and our citizens".

Israel military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the number of casualties was so high because Hamas was pushing people toward the fence.

"The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas", Shah said at a press briefing.

In Gaza, Palestinian protests quickly turned into bloodshed. "Most of the world maintains embassies in Tel Aviv, saying the Jerusalem issue must first be resolved".

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"Police arrested 14 suspects".

In December, Trump and the United States chose to "finally recognize the truth: That Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. A bipartisan majority in Congress has been calling for this important action since the 1990s".

"The UK remains firmly committed to a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital". "Congratulations!" The ceremony took place at what until now had been a USA consulate building in Jerusalem.

The Trump administration has said the embassy move does not aim to prejudge Jerusalem's final borders.

It may be recalled that both houses of the Parliament have already voiced their position on the United States decision.

Nearly 40 Palestinians were killed that month around Gaza.

The protests are also fueled by economics. They are in their seventh week of protests.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile accused Israel of "state terror" and "genocide", announcing three days of mourning and a giant protest in Istanbul on Friday.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit earlier in the day reportedly criticized the countries that participated in the celebration of the move.

Palestinian government spokesman Yusuf al-Mahmoud in a statement called for "an immediate global intervention to stop the bad massacre in Gaza committed by the forces of the Israeli occupation against our heroic people".

"You can only build peace on truth, and the truth is that Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state", he said.

Saeb Erekat, Palestine Liberation Organisation secretary-general, called it a "hostile act against worldwide law".

"Somewhere between zero and none", Martin Indyk, a former USA special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the Obama administration, said of the chances President Donald Trump might bring the two sides together and broker what he has called the "ultimate deal". Among those present were delegates from Guatemala and Paraguay, which will open their own Jerusalem embassies later this month.

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