Saturday, October 31, 2020

United States Secretary of State: Jerusalem embassy “officially open”

By J.J. Rhies - May 09, 2019
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Jerusalem]


The United States Department of State “officially” opened its embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, May 8.


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement as the U.S. finished building a chief-of-mission residence in Jerusalem.


In his statement, Pompeo also said the decision to move the embassy was in accordance with federal law, citing a piece of legislation in 1995 that endorsed a U.S. Jerusalem embassy.


“Successive administrations refused to move the embassy, and instead exercised presidential waivers to avoid the Act's restrictions,” he said. “On December 6, 2017, the president boldly decided to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and instructed the Department of State to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. We proudly continue to implement that decision today.”


The Pew Research Center, a leading U.S. research organisation, published a report earlier this month showing that U.S. Jews are more likely than their Christian counterparts to be critical of Trump’s relations with Israel.


More than four-in-ten (42 per cent) of American Jews say “Donald Trump is favouring Israelis too much.” Nearly half say he is striking the “right balance” in favouring Israel.


By contrast, just over a quarter (26 per cent) of Christians say Trump favours Israel too much, and 59 per cent say he has struck the right balance.


President Trump’s 2017 recognition of Jerusalem, also known as Al-Quds, as Israel’s capital has prompted sharp criticism from Palestinian officials.


Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, has opposed the move and recently said he would oppose the U.S.-led peace deal, which Trump and other U.S. authorities have called “deal of the century,” because it recognises the city as Israel’s capital.


Earlier this year, Abbas said: “We have opposed this deal all along because it took Al-Quds out of Palestine, so we did not want the rest of the plan because there is no state without Al-Quds, and there will not be a state in Gaza nor a state without Gaza.”


“Why does President Trump want to talk about any solution or any issue after he transferred the embassy to Al-Quds and recognised Al-Quds as the capital of Israel? Therefore, I do not think there is any point in having a dialogue with him,” he added.


During Palestinian protests of the U.S. embassy nearly one year ago, Israeli soldiers killed dozens of demonstrators in Gaza and injured more than 2,400 individuals, The Guardian reported.


At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military was acting in self-defence.


“Each country must protect its borders,” he said on Twitter.

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