LIVE BLOG: Israeli troops open fire on Gaza protesters

Medics evacuate a Palestinian protester who was shot by Israeli snipers during protests inside the Gaza Strip, May 14, 2018. (photo: Mohammed Zaanoun /

Read continuous updates from this blog written by independent Israeli and Palestinian journalists.

By +972 Magazine | May 14, 2018

Prior to Monday, Israeli snipers had killed 49 Palestinians and wounded nearly 10,000 Palestinian protesters since the protests began. Among the wounded and killed were at least half a dozen journalists, including Yaser Murtaja and Ahmed Abu Hussein — both of whom were wearing jackets clearly marked “PRESS” when they were shot. There have been zero Israeli casualties.

7:10 pm

The Ministry of Health in Gaza says that that the number of Palestinians killed by Israel on the Gaza border has risen to 52.

5:30 pm

Gaza’s Ministry of Health is reporting that the number of Palestinians killed today by Israeli forces in Gaza has risen to 43.

4:40 pm

Israeli soldiers have killed 41 Palestinians and wounded 1,960, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Continue reading “LIVE BLOG: Israeli troops open fire on Gaza protesters”

LIVE UPDATES: Israeli troops kill dozens of Palestinians in protests as US embassy opens in Jerusalem

Palestinian women wave national flags and chant slogans near the Israeli border fence. (photo: Adel Hana / AP)

52 Palestinians killed and over 2,400 wounded in protests in Gaza and West Bank over moving US embassy to Jerusalem.

By Amanda Holpuch and Matthew Weaver | The Guardian | May 14, 2018

“We condemn unreservedly the Israeli government for their brutal, lethal and utterly unjustified actions on the Gaza border, and our thoughts are with all those Palestinians in Gaza whose loved ones have been killed or injured as a result.
“These actions are made all the worse because they come not as the result of a disproportionate over-reaction to one day’s protests, but as the culmination of six weeks of an apparently systemic and deliberate policy of killing and maiming unarmed protestors and bystanders who pose no threat to the forces at the Gaza border, many of them shot in the back, many of them shot hundreds of meters from the border, and many of them children.”
— Emily Thornberry MP, Britain’s Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary

Follow latest developments from The Guardian in this continuously updated page.

Read the full article here →

Israel thanks Trump by naming a Jerusalem roundabout in his honor

Trump announced in December that the US embassy would be moving from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (photo: Sergey Orlov / Tass)

“Jerusalem returns the love to Trump,” writes Jerusalem Mayor Nir Bakat before official opening of new US embassy.

By Oliver Holmes | The Guardian | May 8, 2018

“Naming this square in honor of the president is our way of showing our love and respect for the president and the American people, who always stand by the side of Israel.”
— Jerusalem Mayor Nir Bakat

So thrilled was the mayor of Jerusalem that Donald Trump had recognized the city as the capital of Israel that he decided a fitting tribute of thanks –—naming a roundabout in honor of the US president.

“Jerusalem returns the love to Trump,” Nir Barkat wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, showing a picture of the traffic circle at the site where the new American embassy is due to be opened next week.

“We have decided that the square adjacent to the embassy in the capital will be called ‘United States Square — in honor of President Trump’,” he said in the Hebrew-language post.

Continue reading “Israel thanks Trump by naming a Jerusalem roundabout in his honor”

Why is the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem?

FILE PHOTO: A worker holds a road sign directing to the U.S. embassy, in the area of the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem
A worker holds a road sign directing to the US embassy in Jerusalem, May 7, 2081. (photo: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)

The United States opens its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, a move that has delighted Israel and infuriated Palestinians.

By Stephen Farrell | Farrell | May 7, 2018

In 1947 the UN recognized that Jerusalem had special status and proposed international rule for the city, along with nearby Bethlehem, as a “corpus separatum” to be administered by the United Nations. That never happened.

On Monday, road signs directing traffic there went up around the neighborhood where the US Embassy will be situated, and next week’s opening ceremony is timed to coincide with Israel’s 70th anniversary. The initiative was driven by President Donald Trump, after he broke last year with decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Trump said his administration has a peace proposal in the works, and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of America’s closest ally had “taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table.”

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, celebrated Trump’s decision, but the move upset the Arab world and Western allies. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called it a “slap in the face” and said Washington could no longer be regarded as an honest broker in any peace talks with Israel.

Continue reading “Why is the US moving its embassy to Jerusalem?”

Paraguay pledges to move embassy to Jerusalem

Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes. (photo:

Paraguay would become the third country to commit to moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

By Tovah Lazaroff | The Jerusalem Post | Apr 30, 2018

  • Guatemala is the only country besides the US that plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem.
  • Romania and Honduras are also considering the move.
  • The Czech Republic plans to open a consulate in Jerusalem, but not an embassy.
  • Currently 87 countries have embassies in Israel, none of them in Jerusalem

Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes pledged to relocate his country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem at a special celebratory event in Asunción to mark Israel’s 70th anniversary.

Cartes said that he would like the move to take place before he leaves office in mid-August. Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted about the statement under the heading “good news.” But he later said that it was still unclear if plans to relocate the embassy were in the works.

Continue reading “Paraguay pledges to move embassy to Jerusalem”

Steven Mnuchin to lead delegation of 250 to embassy opening in Jerusalem

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin holds a press conference during the IMF/World Bank spring meeting in Washington, DC, on Apr 21, 2018. (photo: Andrew Caballer-Reynolds / AFP)

Group to include Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham, Jewish leaders and heads of pro-Israel evangelical Christian organizations.

By Staff | The Times of Israel | Apr 22, 2018

Trump, who formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced the embassy relocation on December 6, had mulled attending the inauguration, but reportedly decided against it.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is to lead a delegation of 250 people from the United States, including some 40 politicians, to the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem next month, Channel 10 news reported Sunday.

Mnuchin will be accompanied by US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump, as well as 40 senators and representatives, the report said.

The Times of Israel first reported last week that Kushner and Ivanka Trump were likely to attend.

Continue reading “Steven Mnuchin to lead delegation of 250 to embassy opening in Jerusalem”

Israel fast-tracks new US embassy in Jerusalem

US consulate in Jerusalem, Feb 24, 2018. (photo: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

The Finance Ministry will allow the Jerusalem municipality to waive the required permits.

By Staff | Reuters | Mar 27, 2018

“We will not allow needless bureaucracy to hold up the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s eternal capital.”
— Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon

Israel has expedited construction permits to enable temporary quarters for the US Embassy to open in Jerusalem as planned in May, the Finance Ministry said on Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump in December broke with other world powers by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing the US Embassy would be moved there from Tel Aviv.

Trump’s reversal of decades of US and broad international policy was welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “historic decision.” But it drew criticism from around the world and outraged Palestinians, who want a capital for their own future state in eastern parts of the city.

Israel has said the Embassy will be opened on May 14, the 70th anniversary of its founding. A US official said it would be located at a provisional site in Jerusalem that now houses a US consular section.

Building a permanent embassy could take several years.

Continue reading “Israel fast-tracks new US embassy in Jerusalem”

450 elderly immigrants will be displaced by US embassy move to Jerusalem

The former Diplomat Hotel, now part of the United States consular compound in Arnona area of Jerusalem, is built on disputed territory. (photo: Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The US Embassy move to Jerusalem will cause 450 elderly immigrants to lose their homes, and the Knesset doesn’t have a solution yet.

By Avichai Scher | Forward | Mar 21, 2018

“There are only two years left to create a practical and fair solution, and today we hear again from the Ministry of Immigration that they still have no solutions. . . . We have lost too much time, but we will not wait any longer. The issue of Diplomat Hotel and its tenants must be solved immediately.”
— Ksenia Svetlova, Zionist Union member of Knesset

The Diplomat Hotel, which is owned by the US and is located next door to the Jerusalem consulate that will become the embassy in 2020, is being leased as housing for elderly immigrants. But the building is slated to become part of the embassy, forcing the residents to find other housing.

At a heated discussion at the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee on Monday, Ksenia Svetlova of the left-wing Zionist Union blasted the committee for not moving quickly enough to find a solution for the residents.

Continue reading “450 elderly immigrants will be displaced by US embassy move to Jerusalem”

Trump’s plan to relocate US embassy to Jerusalem stuck in red tape

A US flag flies over part of the the consulate compound in Jerusalem. (photo: Ammar Awad / Reuters)

The Israeli Finance Minister is promoting an emergency move that would bypass planning regulations.

By Yael Darel | Haaretz | Mar 22, 2018

“It is not at all certain that the effort now underway to convert the consulate to an embassy meets the standard of the law.”
— Yossi Miller, Israeli attorney specializing in planning and building law

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said he was seeking an exemption from planning regulations to ensure that the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem can be upgraded to become the American embassy in time for Israel’s 70th anniversary celebrations on May 14, 2018.

Kahlon said he has asked the National Planning Committee, chaired by Avigdor Yitzhaki, to impose a rarely used exemption in the National Planning and Building Law empowering him to request the exception and hoped the committee would approve the measure when at an emergency meeting next Tuesday.

Continue reading “Trump’s plan to relocate US embassy to Jerusalem stuck in red tape”

New US embassy may be in Jerusalem — but not in Israel

The former Diplomat Hotel, now part of the United States consular compound in Jerusalem, was built on disputed territory. (photo: Thomas Coex / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images)

The site of the US diplomatic compound is in occupied territory that has never been formally incorporated into Israel.

By Isabel Kershner | The New York Times | Mar 7, 2018

“Much more important than what the State Department says, it is what their actions say. You don’t build an embassy in territory that is not sovereign to Israel.”
— Eugene Kontorovich, director of international law at the conservative Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem

In two months, the United States plans to open a new embassy to fulfill President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

There’s just one problem: The embassy may be in Jerusalem, but it may not be fully in Israel.

The diplomatic compound that will serve as the American Embassy until a permanent site is found lies partly in a contested zone known as No Man’s Land.

No Man’s Land encompasses the area between the armistice lines drawn at the end of the 1948–49 war and was claimed by Jordan and Israel. Israel won full control of it in the 1967 war, so the United Nations and much of the world consider it occupied territory.

Continue reading “New US embassy may be in Jerusalem — but not in Israel”