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The U.S. is opening an embassy in Jerusalem. Why is there a furor?

Monday, 14 May 2018 Latest


The opening ceremony is at a U.S. consular building in the Arnona neighborhood. It will house an interim embassy for the ambassador and a small staff until a larger site is found.

The compound cuts across the 1949 Armistice Line that separated West Jerusalem from No Man’s Land, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six Day War and has held under occupation ever since.

The embassy move follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision last December to break with decades of U.S. policy and recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision, saying it reflected that “the Jewish people have had a capital for 3,000 years, and that it is called Jerusalem.”

But the move upset the Arab world and Western allies. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a “slap in the face” and said the United States can no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace talks with Israel.

The U.S. is opening an embassy in Jerusalem. Why is there a furor?