The Donald Trump administration was set for embracing another controversy on Monday, May 14, the day its decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would take effect. Though Washington said the move was aimed for greater regional stability, critics said it would only lead to more problems.
They are also of the opinion that with this decision, the US lost its tag as an "honest broker" in the Israel-Palestine negotiations. Israel and Palestine have seen serious clashes over the past few months after Israeli forces resorted to merciless response to Palestinian protests on the Gaza border. Many have been killed on the Palestinian side while several more were injured.
However, there was no dearth of voices in the Trump administration to justify the move that went against decades of tradition. David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, recently told the media that the decision will create a platform for a peace process in the long run - based on realities.
The event to mark the formal opening of the embassy in Jerusalem will take place at 9 am ET (4 pm local time and 6.30 pm Indian time).
Trump recently pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran deal which has encouraged Israel, a fierce regional foe of Iran, to escalate tensions with Tehran. The latest move of shifting the US embassy to Jerusalem would embolden Israel further to turn more ruthless against its regional foes and the result will be worsening of the regional peace and stability.
President Trump announced the controversial decision in December 2017 by formally recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It was one of his promises made during the campaign of the 2016 US presidential election.
The decision is contentious since Palestinians hope to claim a part of Jerusalem as their future capital while for many in the Arab world, it is seen as a holy site. The Jews and Christians also have close connection with the city. Recognising it as the capital of one party to the conflict invites a potential disaster.