The American Embassy was finally opened yesterday in Jerusalem, Israel. This opening did not come without turmoil. Palestinians were out in full force protesting just miles way from where the inauguration ceremony took place. In attendence was First Daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband Chief Mideast Advisor Jared Kushner, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, as well four Republican senators and two evangelical pastors Robert Jeffress and John Hagee.
Gaza protesters gathered along the Gaza border (which is only about 50 miles away from the now Embassy) where they caused destruction setting tires ablaze, throwing rocks, and hurling firebombs. Within the protesters there were Hamas under cover who were trying to carry out shooting and bombing attacks amid all the chaos. Israeli troops were at the border containing the chaos where they have been under scrutiny for using excessive force.
As a result of these Gaza protests, Israeli troops opened fire resulting in more than 2,700 protesters injured and 57 killed. In addition one baby was said to have died from tear gas inhalation bringing the death toll to 58. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 6 of those killed by gunshots were minors and 1,360 were wounded by gunfire. Officials are concerned that protests will continue for a second day.
Why is there conflict and turmoil over there between the Israelis and Palestinians? There has been a long standing conflict over land and Jerusalem specifically. Each group believes Jerusalem should be their capitol and is rightfully theirs. There are of course religions beliefs behind each cause as well which adds more passion behind the motives.
President Trump was not in tow for the inauguration ceremony but did send a video message to Israel that was played at the ceremony there on the big screen.
The Prime Minister of Israel himself, Benjamin Netanyahu was in attendence and was very pleased with the ceremony saying, "What a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history."You can only build peace on truth, and the truth is that Jerusalem has been and will always be the capital of the Jewish people, the capital of the Jewish state."
While it was a day to celebrate for the Israelis, it was a day to protest for Palestinians and Netanyahu wasn't ignorant to that. He claims that what happened with the deaths and injuries along the Gaza border was self defense against the Hamas who rule that area. Netanyahu stated on Twitter: "Every country has an obligation to defend its borders, the Hamas terrorist organization declares it intends to destroy Israel and sends thousands to breach the border fence in order to achieve this goal. We will continue to act with determination to protect our sovereignty and citizens.”
It was quite jarring to many to see Ivanka Trump showing off the embassy opening while miles away people were dying over the upset of it. While Palestinians and Israelis have been fighting for hundreds of years, this American embassy opening in Jerusalem clearly added fuel to the already blazing fire. Was it the right move? What do you think? What can be done to stop the fighting?
For more information on yesterday's American Embassy opening, read on HERE.