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Events since Trump's decision on Jerusalem

  • Published at 02:32 am May 15th, 2018
Palestine protest
Palestinians run for cover from tear gas during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, east of Jabalia on May 14, 2018 AFP

Here are key developments since US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, with the new US embassy opening Monday amid deadly clashes.

Shock announcement

On December 6, 2017 Trump says "it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel", breaking with the policies of his predecessors and provoking criticism worldwide. 

Palestinian leaders are outraged. "These deplorable and unacceptable measures deliberately undermine all peace efforts," Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas says. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hails Trump's move as "historic."

The State Department says it will start immediately on plans to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

'Rage'

On December 8 Palestinians in their thousands face off against Israeli soldiers and police in a "day of rage" in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Tens of thousands demonstrate in Arab and Muslim countries.

At the United Nations envoys from Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Sweden say Trump's move is "not in line" with UN Security Council resolutions.

Palestinian capital

Muslim leaders at a summit in Istanbul on December 13 call on the international community to recognize east Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.

Abbas says there can be "no peace or stability" in the Middle East until then.

On December 18 the United States vetoes a draft UN resolution rejecting Trump's recognition of Jerusalem; all 14 other Security Council members had backed the measure.

The UN General Assembly on December 21 overwhelmingly adopts a resolution against the US declaration.

'Slap of the century'

On January 14 Abbas denounces White House peace efforts as "the slap of the century" and reiterates the Palestinians no longer accept the United States as a peace mediator.

On January 16 Washington holds back $65 million that had been earmarked for the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.

US Vice President Mike Pence on January 22 receives a warm welcome in Israel but is snubbed by the Palestinians.

On February 20 Abbas calls at the UN Security Council for an international conference to launch a new peace process and pave the way to Palestinian statehood.

Tensions rise

Three days later US officials announce that the embassy will relocate to Jerusalem on May 14, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of Israel's independence.

Palestinians slam a "blatant provocation."

On March 19 Abbas labels the US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, a "son of a dog."

Palestinians on March 30 kick off a major protest campaign on the Gaza border to demand the right to return to homes they fled in 1948 at the creation of Israel.

In the weeks that follow at least 53 Palestinian protesters are killed in confrontations with security forces.

Clashes as embassy opens

Hours before the new embassy is inaugurated, clashes erupt on the Gaza border. The violence leaves more than 40 Palestinians dead from Israeli fire and hundreds wounded in the conflict's bloodiest day in years.

Trump addresses the ceremony by video conference, saying the United States remains committed to reaching a lasting Middle East peace.