The US’s choice to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to the challenged city of Jerusalem has isolated countries around the globe.
Numerous European nations restricted the move, however others including Hungary and Austria demonstrated their help by sending represetatives to go to an occasion with the US on the eve of the migration on 14 May 2018.
In total, representatives from 32 countries attended the gala hosted by Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Why is the embassy move so divisive?
Jerusalem is at the very heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides laying claim to the city. The Old City in East Jerusalem contains holy sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Palestinians believe East Jerusalem will be the capital of a future Palestinian state while Israelis see the whole city as their capital – this is not internationally recognised. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.
Palestinians see the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as being in support of Israel’s control over the whole city. They do not believe the US can be a neutral peace broker.
The final status of Jerusalem is intended to be a point of discussion in the latter stages of peace talks.
Why has the US moved its embassy?
Since 2006, not a single foreign embassy has been based in Jerusalem because of its contested status – most nations use Tel Aviv.
But in December, President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying he was acknowledging reality. He believes Israel may be more likely to make concessions towards Palestinians if it has claim over the city.
Consequently, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas feels betrayed by the Trump administration.
What has the reaction been?
While Israelis have been celebrating what they consider to be validation of their claim to Jerusalem, Palestinians have been protesting at the border separating Israel from Gaza.
On Monday, the day the US embassy officially relocated, the demonstrations turned deadly. It has been reported that 58 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces at the Gaza-Israel border. More than 2,700 people were injured.
Just a few miles away in Jerusalem, Mr Trump’s daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner attended a ceremony marking the opening of the embassy on the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.