(May 7, 2018 / JNS) As Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat affixed the first street signs directing drivers to the “U.S. Embassy” in the capital, Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called on foreign dignitaries to boycott the celebratory opening on May 14.
Approximately 800 American and Israeli visitors are expected at the inauguration of the new embassy in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood, but officials from other countries have also been invited.
Barkat personally affixed the first of several new road signs pointing to the location of the new embassy, which is primarily comprised of the complex formerly utilized as the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. “I thank President Trump or making this historic moment come to fruition,” he said in a statement released by his office. “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people—and the world is beginning to recognize this fact.”
In the meantime, Erekat, who is a senior official in the government of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, said the new embassy is “encouragement of international anarchy,” and called on everyone to boycott the event “lest they lend legitimacy to an illegal decision and to continued Israeli policies of occupation, colonization and annexation.”
According to Erekat, U.S. President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel stands in the way of “a just and lasting peace” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The United States will be sending a delegation comprised of some 300 dignitaries and officials, with rumors circulating that Trump may himself be in attendance.
On Sunday, May 13, Israel’s Foreign Ministry will host a festive event celebrating the moves to Jerusalem of the American and Guatemalan embassies, which will also be attended by U.S. officials, as well as Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.