Speed Reads

Israel and Palestine

U.S. Embassy opening in Jerusalem met by protests

The new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is due to open Monday, May 14, following President Trump's controversial decision to formally recognize the city as Israel's capital and move diplomatic operations from Tel Aviv.

The conversion of the American consulate building in Jerusalem into a temporary embassy (until a new construction is completed) has sparked protest among Palestinians, especially because the day after, May 15, is an annual commemoration of the 700,000 Palestinians who left or were expelled from their homes around Israel's 1948 Declaration of Independence.

Trump cast his decision as a step toward peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict, but critics say it will make negotiations more difficult. Only two other countries, Guatemala and Paraguay, have followed Trump's move and relocated their embassies to Jerusalem as well.