American Embassy to Open in Jerusalem, 37 Palestinians Killed in Protests

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According to the BBC, 37 Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces in Gaza after protesting the impending opening of an American Embassy in Jerusalem on 14 May. The Trump administration’s decision to first recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital back in 2017 was seen as a break from the norm of American policy.

Jerusalem is not recognized as sovereign Israeli land by the international community, and yet the Israeli government has laid claim over the land since 1967; it has since built settlements that house around 200,000 Jews in the area, a move that is illegal under international law .

Image from abc.go.com

In 1993, peace talks between the two governments were held and mediated by the Americans, with a final decision on Jerusalem’s status to be taken during later stages. However, President Trump’s actions in breaking with America’s foreign policy on this specific issue from neutrality to backing one side has led the head of the Palestinian government Mahmoud Abbas to state: “The United States can no longer be considered a neutral broker in on-off Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and cannot have any future role.”

Meanwhile, Trump took to Twitter to call the occasion “a great day for Israel.”

Image from abc.go.com

As banners and souvenirs carry Trump’s name and face across the city of Jerusalem, Hamas have pushed for more protests in the build up to Tuesday, which is the Nakba: a remembrance of the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the subsequent displacement of thousands of Palestinians. Since the start of the protests, more than 60 Palestinians have been killed, with thousands more injured.

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