JERUSALEM, May 7, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Workmen on Monday put up street signs to the US embassy due to open in Jerusalem on May 14, a move hailed as historic by Israel but loathed by Palestinians.
Municipal workers erected signposts reading “US Embassy” in Hebrew, Arabic and English around the site, currently a US consular building, in the city’s Arnona neighbourhood.
Breaking with decades of US diplomacy and international consensus President Donald Trump announced on December 6 the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the transfer of the embassy, located until now in Tel Aviv.
The embassy is to get a festive inauguration next Monday, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the state of Israel.
Small in size, it will initially occupy part of the consular workspace pending planning and construction of a purpose-built embassy, a long-term project according to the US State Department.
Trump’s unilateral decision delighted the Israelis and enraged the Palestinians, who want to make the eastern, mainly Palestinian, part of the city the capital of their future state and who say Trump’s decision ignores their demands.
The question of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian leaders are refusing to meet Trump’s peace negotiators because of the embassy row.