Jerusalem, — The Trump administration officially opened a new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, recognizing the holy city as the “true capital of Israel.”
“For many years, we have failed to acknowledge the obvious, plain reality that the [Israeli] capital is Jerusalem. At my direction, the United States finally and officially recognized Jerusalem as the true capital of Israel,” Trump said in a video address just moments before daughter his daughter Ivanka officially unveiled the embassy.
“The United States will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of peace,” Trump added. “We extend a hand in friendship to Israel, the Palestinians and to all of their neighbors. May there be peace.”
Shortly after the unveiling of the facility, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed how “deeply grateful” he and the Israeli people are to President Trump and the people of the United States who supported the decision to place the facility within Jerusalem city limits.
“President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history,” Netanyahu said, taking a moment to publicly recall a moment from his childhood when he was warned not to run too close to the Jerusalem border. “My mother said you can’t go any farther, that was near the border. There was sniper fire. That was then—this is now. Today the embassy of the most powerful nation on earth, our greatest ally, the United States of America, today the United States Embassy opened here. What a difference.”
Netanyahu went on to declare Monday a “great day for Israel,” and for the U.S.-Israel bond.
“We are in Jerusalem and we are here to stay,” Netanyahu said.
As America and Israel celebrated, however, clashes near the border with protestors who were opposed to the relocation left dozens of Palestinians dead and hundreds wounded.
Palestinian officials have criticized the Trump administration for its decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced he has cut ties with the U.S., declaring it no longer fit and too one-sided to mediate peace between Israel and Palestine.
The Trump has rebuffed Palestinian’s criticism, saying that the embassy move should be viewed as a first step toward brokering peace.