In jarring scenes Monday, no fewer than 52 Palestinians were killed in clashes with Israeli troops in Gaza as the United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The bloodshed sparked condemnations from across the world after escalating tensions in the middle-east following Trump’s bold move.
Dignitaries, including Trumps daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, convened in Jerusalem for the ceremony many fear would derail the peace process between Israel and Palestine.
What a great day for the great American-Israeli alliance 🇮🇱🇺🇸
צילום: אבי אוחיון, לע״מ pic.twitter.com/Q2rUdD3ID5
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) May 14, 2018
Meanwhile, Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem were urged to turn out en masse to protest the embassy move and take part in Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” as Palestinians term Israel’s creation.
“There is no justification for the recklessness and cynicism Hamas has shown in urging people to engage in violence that exposes them to terrible risk. As the Secretary of State has said, Israel has a right to defend itself,” a White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said in a statement.
US President Donald Trump in a recorded message at the ceremony, said he remained committed to peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“Our greatest hope is for peace,” said Trump.
“The U.S. remains fully committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement,” Trump said.
“The U.S. will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace.”
Trump’s recognition of contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December outraged Palestinians, who said the U.S. could no longer serve as an honest broker in any peace process with Israel.
Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they want to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed, as its “eternal and indivisible capital” in a move that still remains contentious in the international community.