Israeli and US forces in the region are bracing for violence as both nations prepare for the grand opening of the new American embassy in Jerusalem; fulfilling years of empty promises and highlighting the close relationship between the two countries.
US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will be in attendance, as will President Trump’s daughter Ivanka alongside her husband and senior Trump advisor Jared Kushner.
According to Yahoo News, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu views the “historic” decision to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv as a catalyst for other nations to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; a move vehemently opposed by the United Nations.
“I must tell you that the bold decision by President Trump has prompted other countries, quite a few now, who are planning to move their embassy to Jerusalem as well,” Netanyahu said last month.
The opening comes as tensions in the region reached an all-time high this week, after Israeli forces struck the Iranian military operating inside Syria; killing at least 23 fighters.
ISRAEL ON EDGE: Jerusalem Braces for VIOLENCE as US Opens Embassy
Israeli security forces are on high-alert in the coming days as the United States prepares to open its embassy in Jerusalem; fulfilling years of American promises to relocate their diplomatic headquarters to the capital.
According to the Guardian, police and Israeli Defense Forces have increased security sweeps and patrols in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood expected to house the temporary American embassy while construction is in progress.
American officials plan to open the embassy on May 14, the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Jewish State in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
It remains unclear if President Trump will be on hand to officially open the diplomatic headquarters.
“We’re still waiting to see if the US president will come here for the opening move. The level of security will be raised accordingly,” said a spokesperson for Israeli police.
“When you have tens of thousands of people around the border there is no control over them,” said a security analyst in Gaza. “It would be my assumption that some protesters will try to breach the fence, will try to infiltrate into Israel.”
PROMISE KEPT: US Embassy Move to Jerusalem Happening ‘YEARS AHEAD’ of Schedule
Speaking at his official swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the United States will be moving its embassy to Jerusalem “years ahead” of schedule.
Flanked by the President, the nation’s top diplomat vowed to follow through on President Trump’s historic decision to relocate the embassy from Tel Aviv to the Israeli capital; fulfilling years of empty American promises to one of its strongest allies.
“We will soon move our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem years ahead of schedule,” Pompeo told reporters.
“We will employ tough diplomacy when necessary to put the interest of the American people first,” he added. “I will work to ensure their safety, to preserve their rights and defend their values and I will make sure that America is always a respected and principled leader on the world stage.”
Watch the Secretary of State’s comments above.