Trump announces delegation to Israel for opening of U.S. embassy in Jerusalem

Jerusalem Municipality Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat poses with a new road sign to the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Monday

U.S. Embassy road signs went up in Jerusalem on Monday ahead of May 14 opening of the mission in accordance with President Donald Trump's recognition of the city as Israel's capital.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the group, which also includes Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, special representative for worldwide negotiations, the White House said. No country now has its embassy in Jerusalem, instead keeping them in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv.

The U.S. intends to officially relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment in 1948 - an event Palestinians refer to as the "Nakba" or the "The Catastrophe".

"This is not a dream".

"This morning, I am proud and excited to install the first signs for the U.S. embassy, which will open next week in Jerusalem".

The move prompted global condemnation and triggered a wave of protests in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The competition took place just kilometers away from the besieged Gaza Strip where Israeli forces killed 45 Palestinians and injured about 7,000 others during the "Great March of Return" protests, which began on March 30.

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Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its "united" capital, and its annexation of East Jerusalem effectively put the entire city under de-facto Israeli control.

Arab foreign ministers of Arab League member states had also called for global recognition of Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"The Embassy will initially be located in the Arnona neighborhood, in a modern building that now houses consular operations of U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement in February.

Pres. Trump has left the question of his participation in the embassy opening in doubt for months, saying that he might come.

In December, US President Donald Trump had announced his decision of recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and asked Department of State to initiate the process to relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Paraguay will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem by the end of May, a Paraguay government spokesman and the Israeli foreign ministry said on Monday.

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