Israel put up the first “U.S. Embassy” road signs in its capital of Jerusalem Monday morning, weeks after President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would move its embassy from Tel Aviv and recognize Israel’s capital.
The signs read in English, Hebrew, and Arabic and were put in place one week before the U.S. officially transfers its embassy to the city, Reuters reported Monday. The U.S. had technically recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital for decades, but past presidents put off transferring the embassy from Tel Aviv to placate the Palestinian contingent.
This is not a dream – it’s reality! This morning, I installed the signs for the new #USembassy in #Jerusalem!
Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people – and the world is beginning to recognize this fact!
Thank you @POTUS! pic.twitter.com/oSPwnCGKtu
— Mayor Nir Barkat (@NirBarkat) May 7, 2018
“This is not a dream. 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,” wrote Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Twitter.
The Palestinian Authority continues to be enraged by the move, however, claiming it severely threatens any hope of lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.
“This [embassy] move is not only illegal but will also thwart the achievement of a just and lasting peace between two sovereign and democratic states on the 1967 borders, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security,” Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement.
The U.S. hopes there is still a possibility for peace, however. Israel has made repeated offers of a two-state solution, once even offering to internationalize Jerusalem, but the Palestinians rejected them.
“By recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the seat of its government, we’re recognizing reality,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week. “I also stress, as President Trump has said in December, the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem remain subject to negotiations between the parties, and we remain committed to achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future for both Israel and the Palestinians.”
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