US to open embassy in Jerusalem, sparking protests and possible violence

US to open embassy in Jerusalem, sparking protests and possible violence

Jerusalem is not legally part of Israel and is considered to be ‘occupied territory’ by the UN.

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Photo: AFP

Today, the US will officially move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that coincides with the 70th anniversary of Israel and is expected to provoke Palestinian protests.

This relocation is contentious, because Jerusalem is not legally part of Israel and is considered to be ‘occupied territory’ by the UN.

Many of the US’ friends and allies have criticised the White House for recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The UN, EU, and the Vatican have all decried the move, whilst Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has committed to cut diplomatic ties with Israel should Jerusalem become further integrated into the Jewish state.

Guatemala has pledged to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Wednesday after Washington, and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has claimed six other embassies will follow suit. With powerful players backing both Israel and Palestine, expect to see a political tug of war over this dually claimed capital.

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