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Jerusalem embassy: Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner arrive for Monday opening

Sunday - 13/05/2018 20:37
US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, have arrived in Israel ahead of the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.
REUTERS / Ivanka Trump greets US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman with her husband Jared Kushner (R) at Ben Gurion International Airport
REUTERS / Ivanka Trump greets US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman with her husband Jared Kushner (R) at Ben Gurion International Airport

The couple - both senior White House advisers - will attend the ceremony. Mr Trump himself will not be there.

His decision to move operations from Tel Aviv angered Palestinians.

The plan was brought forward to coincide with the state of Israel's 70th anniversary.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its "eternal and undivided" capital, while the Palestinians claim East Jerusalem - occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war - as the capital of a future state.

Mr Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital broke with decades of US neutrality on the issue and put it out of step with most of the international community.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the embassy move was a reason for celebration and called on other nations to follow suit.

"I call on all countries to join the US in moving their embassies to Jerusalem," Mr Netanyahu said, adding: "It's the right thing to do... because it advances peace."

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has described Mr Trump's decision to move the embassy as the "slap of the century".

Israeli police stand guard outside the US consulate that will act as the interim US embassy in Jerusalem, 13 May 2018
GETTY IMAGES
The US consulate that will act as America's interim embassy in Jerusalem

A small interim embassy will open inside the existing US consulate building in Jerusalem on Monday, while a larger site will be found later when the rest of the embassy moves from Tel Aviv.

Who will attend?

President Trump is expected to address attendees at Monday's event via video link.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will be there in person, alongside Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Mr Kushner is set to meet Israel's prime minister on Sunday afternoon, according to the local press.

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