US President Donald Trump on Monday hailed the scheduled opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem as “a great day for Israel,” even as deadly clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli security forces on the Gaza border.
The Gaza Health Ministry said 25 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire and hundreds more wounded amid mass protests on the border against the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump made no reference to the violence in an early morning tweet, instead inviting Twitter followers to watch live coverage of the embassy opening on Fox News channels, which was to begin at 1300 GMT.
“Lead up to 9:00 A.M. (eastern) event has already begun. A great day for Israel!” Trump tweeted.
The US delegation to the inaugural ceremony includes US Deputy Secretary of State James Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s daughter Ivanka and his son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Trump announced the embassy move on December 6 in recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, to the cheers of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
But the move has infuriated Palestinians, upending longstanding US policy that the disputed city’s status should be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.
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