JERUSALEM – The windy road that led to the city was decorated on Monday with fluttering American and Israeli flags, as everywhere "Trump, make Israel big" was pronounced. A popular football team even called itself: "Beitar Trump Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is ready – in a sense – for the official opening of the US embassy in a city at the epicenter of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For most Jerusalem residents, The wider Israeli public and leaders of the country The official move of the Tel Aviv embassy to Jerusalem is a major celebration.
Israel is confirmed by the Trump government's decision to recognize its capital as Jerusalem Years after the 1
Palestinians and others – including some US ally – see the US decision as a provocative move that undermines any changes to a possible peace agreement.
In Cairo, the Arab League convened an emergency meeting to discuss the "illegal" US embassy. And on the outskirts of the Gaza Strip, deadly clashes erupted on Monday during recent Palestinian protests over weeks of Palestinian protests.
"This is a hostile act against international law and against the Palestinian people," said Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, speaking of the embassy movement. "It puts the US on the side of the occupying power."
The inauguration will take place on the grounds of the new embassy, which is actually the existing consulate, with just a new new record. President Trump will not attend, but he plans to call the high-profile crowd, including his daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and a variety of political, religious, and community leaders to connect via live video.
"A great day for Isreal," Trump wrote in a tweet.
At a festive breakfast in Jerusalem, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked Trump called the "Churchill of the 21st Century."
A young girl holding a placard reading "Al Quds belongs to the Muslims" in Istanbul on May 11, 2018 during a demonstration against President Trump's controversial decision to relocate the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (19659012) "He has reversed Chamberlain's policy of surrender and teaches the world that" the landowner has returned, "Shaked said at an event attended by members of the visiting White House delegation to Britain's Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain
" Europe insist on not learning from history, "added Shaked." It has closed its eyes to the strengthening of the Nazis; Today, it is decided to close our eyes to the strengthening of Iran. Especially in such a reality, it is good that the president of the free world is President Trump. "
The day before, at a special" Thank You America "event at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a crowd – including 250 US senators, congressmen, community and religious leaders – that Monday is "a historic day for our people and for our state. "
" President Trump's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem confirms a great and simple truth: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for 3000 years. It is the capital of our state for 70 years. It will remain our capital for all time, "said Netanyahu, who later hosted members of the official White House delegation at a feast.
The Palestinians see this as a major betrayal of Washington's decades-long role as a potential facilitator of a peace agreement with Israel.
"Outside the US and some other countries, most of the world is opposed to this move," said Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Arab parliamentary group in the Israeli parliament, who despite the invitation to the opening ceremony is consciously against boycotting the event. 19659018] "Most want to see the peace created under the 1967 guidelines," he said, "this is a unilateral move that strengthens the occupation and keeps us further from peace."
The Palestinians plotted against to protest the movement at events throughout Jerusalem and the West Bank.The speaker of the Israeli Pol izei, Micky Rosenfeld, said the security forces are on high alert for what is likely to take some tense days.
On Tuesday, the Palestinians also mark the Nakba, Arabic for "catastrophe," a term used to flee and expel an estimated 700,000 Palestinians seven decades ago in the creation of Israel. The day also attracts big protests.
But the biggest demonstrations began Monday in the coastal enclave of Gaza, where there have been several weeks of unrest with dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers and more than 2,000 injured. At least 18 Palestinians were killed in clashes on Monday, officials in the Gaza Strip said.
In Jerusalem, those who arrived to celebrate the opening of the new embassy rejected claims that the movement undermined the peace chances between Israelis and Palestinians.
Senator Lindsey O. Graham, who traveled with the official delegation, said that now is the "right time" to relocate the embassy.
"It has been US policy since 1995, and if you have a problem, you must take it up with God," Graham said, referring to the legislation passed by Congress. Legislation provided for a waiver allowing the presidents to postpone the shift by six months each, which has been used by subsequent presidents to date.
"In a broken Middle East, it is time for Israel to have its back," Graham said. "If there are ever two states, then the Palestinians will probably make East Jerusalem their capital."
"We had presidents who promised to embarrass the message but did not keep their promise and they were now praised We have a president who kept his promise and he is criticized," said Alan Dershowitz, a prominent lawyer who has recently proven himself to be the Trump Government Attorney.
He said he does not believe that the movement is interrupting the process of peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
"Obama did this by not rejecting the UN resolution against Israeli settlements Trump has revived the status quo and is ready to restart the process but the Palestinians will not get a state without negotiations", said Dershowitz.
Among the visitors are prominent Christian-Zionist and evangelical leaders who have helped to shape Trump's Jerusalem policy. Some see the message as fulfilling a divine prophecy.
Pastor Robert Jeffress, an associate of Fox News and a preacher from the Dallas Baptist mega-church, is scheduled to hold a prayer at the opening of the ceremony on Monday. Jeffress has caused controversy over derogatory views about other religions, especially Islam.
But Mike Evans, an American Christian Zionist who runs the Friends of Zion Center in Jerusalem and pays for the city-wide banners celebrating Trump, says this is a "pragmatic move".
"The dedication of the message is a statement of no longer tolerating evil and is a game changer for the Middle East," he said.
Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, claims that the Tel Aviv embassy's move "is a recognition of the reality" that ends the United States and Israel "operating on a completely different wavelength."
"Recognizing reality always increases the chances of peace," Bolton added.
Brian Murphy in Washington contributed to this report.