Ivanka Trump and Husband in Jerusalem for Opening Embassy. In Israel, a reception was given at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the run-up to the relocation of the American embassy today from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Guest of honour is Trumps daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner. Many invited diplomats from other countries left the meeting behind.
The controversial decision by US President Donald Trump in December to move the embassy and recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel caused anger among the Palestinians. They want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. Israel sees Jerusalem as its “eternal and undivided capital”.
At the meeting at the ministry, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was among the hundreds of guests. “According to those present, he was in a triumphant mood”, said correspondent Arlene Gelderblom in the radio program Het Oog op Morgen. He called other countries to follow the American example. So far, only Guatemala and Paraguay have decided to do so.
The Jewish Kushner was made responsible by Trump for the peace process in the Middle East. In addition to him and Ivanka, among others, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is present in Israel. The expectation is that Trump will address the attendees at the ceremony today via a video link.
The relocation of the embassy coincides with the 70th birthday of the state of Israel and is primarily symbolic. The American ambassador and some staff members are moving to Jerusalem, but most of the 800 employees remain in Tel Aviv for the time being. The actual move of the heavily secured embassy will take 7 to 10 years.
The decision to relocate the embassy was taken by the US Congress in 1995 but was repeatedly postponed by several presidents. Since Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it is very restless. Massive demonstrations followed and also protested tomorrow in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
The Israeli army sent individual units, intelligence services and snipers to the border with the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, also intending to Tuesday. Massive demonstrations are then expected when the Palestinians close their so-called March of Return, which has been going on for weeks.