Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The municipal employees of Jerusalem yesterday installed a new road sign, with the inscription “US Embassy” in Hebrew, English and Arabic. The signs indicate an American consular building in the Arnona neighborhood, from next week destined to host a ceremony that has been expected for months.
On May 14, the anniversary of the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation, Israeli and American authorities will inaugurate the new American embassy, announced last December 6 by US President Donald Trump: for the White House, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Trump will not be present at the ceremony, which will be attended by his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner.
The decision had triggered protests by the Palestinians and the Islamic world, the appeals of Pope Francis and the Christian communities, as well as the condemnation of the international community, which does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the disputed city and states that its status should be determined in a peace treaty. For their part, the Palestinians claim the eastern area of the city as the capital of a future independent state.
Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official, asks the diplomats, “civil society organizations and religious authorities to boycott the inauguration ceremony”: participation in the event would be a message of encouragement for the violation of international law and the inalienable rights of the Palestinians.
In the context of the repetition of the “Marches for the Return” along the border between Israel and Gaza – in which more than 40 Palestinians have died – some fear that the inauguration will be the occasion for demonstrations and clashes. Israeli Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, argues that Israel is “ready to pay any price”. Similar concerns emerged in December after Trump’s announcement, but they proved to be unfounded, as the Palestinians reacted mostly peacefully amid great disillusionment.