Trump, Pence to skip Jerusalem embassy opening

PA President Mahmoud Abbas with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

PA President Mahmoud Abbas with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Jerusalem witnessed fixing of road signs on Monday ahead of May 14, the day when USA consulate building will be officially repurposed as embassy.

Workmen on Monday put up street signs to the USA embassy due to open in Jerusalem in one week, a move hailed as historic by Israel but loathed by Palestinians.

Road signs installed close to location of the United States consulate building that will be repurposed as embassy on May 14.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced Monday the delegation that will attend the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem next week.

In March, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales said his country would relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 16, two days after the USA move.

US Ambassador David Friedman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are scheduled to address the crowd and a video illustrating the 70-year-old friendship between the US and Israel is set to be played, the Times of Israel reported.

Other participants, the statement said, will include Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special envoy to the Middle East peace process. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish People and now, the world will begin to recognize this.

The question of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "It is reality. I am proud and moved to have hung this morning the first new signs that were prepared for the U.S. Embassy", Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat wrote on Twitter.

Mr Trump says he is making good on US legislation and presidential pledges dating back decades.

Israel considers the Trump declaration as recognition, albeit long delayed, of a historical fact.

According to the Guardian, police and Israeli Defense Forces have increased security sweeps and patrols in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood expected to house the temporary American embassy while construction is in progress.

The PLO official said that "those who attend the ceremony will send an ominous message, a message that encourages flagrant violations of global law and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people". Half of Jerusalem was occupied and annexed by Israel following the 1967 War.

The worldwide community considers the annexation illegal and considers east Jerusalem as occupied territory.

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