Israel at 70: jubilant US embassy opening masks fevered times

Move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is celebrated in region where Netanyahu is king and Trump is a god

Flowers- blood-red, lily-white and blue- form the image of the US flag on the road leading up to the site of the brand-new American mission in Jerusalem.” US embassy” signs ought to have hoisted in the locality. The US embassy Twitter account- previously in Tel Aviv as @usembassytlv- is now @usembassyjlm.

All is set for the inauguration on Monday, an opening charged with symbolism that its organisers foresee will set off a ripple of euphoria across the Jewish state 70 years since it declared independence on 14 May 1948.

Hundreds of guests will attend, alongside a White House delegation led by John Sullivan, US deputy secretary of state, and includes the much higher-profile Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner.

For Israel’s prime minister, the embassy move is seen as one of two talents from Donald Trump to the country, the other being his exit this week from the Iran nuclear deal that will reimpose sanctions on Benjamin Netanyahu’s arch-enemy.

Yet a celebratory atmosphere disguises a particularly feverish day for Israel, even, some articulate, by historical standards.

To Israel’s south, the military has been lambasted internationally for its lethal have responded to Palestinian objections that have not capitulated for weeks. To the north, and for the first time in decades, the country is facing the possibility of on-off interstate war.

Trump’s decision to recognise the holy city as Israel’s capital was made in stark defiance of long-held international consensus that the status of subdivided Jerusalem should be negotiated with the Palestinians.

Senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath, communicating near the scene of the brand-new delegation, announced Trump was ” siding totally with Israeli annexation and Israeli cleansing of our people from Jerusalem “.

As the US president’s daughter attends the pomp, less than 60 miles back, a six-week objection stimulation on by indignation and desperation at Trump’s embassy decision is expected to culminate in a mass demo in Gaza.

Next week has added relevance for millions of Palestinians, who will recognize seven decades since the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people who either fled or were forced from their dwellings during the struggle surrounding Israel’s creation.

Gaza’s demonstrators have vowed to break through the perimeter fence despite the fact that there is Israeli snipers deployed on sandbanks behind it.

The Gaza-based president of Hamas, which governs the enclave, said here rallies would be peaceful but has not been able to be held back.” What’s the problem if hundreds of thousands storm this fencing which is not a border of a state ?” Yahya Sinwar announced, claiming the frontier was not internationally recognised.

Israel’s use of living ammunition against unarmed masses has killed dozens of Palestinians, including journalists, and wounded around 1,700, including children hit in the legs.

On Friday, Israeli troops killed one protester and wounded 49 others, according to Gaza’s health ministry. The Israeli military articulated 15,000 Palestinian “rioters” had taken part and thrown” pipe bombs and grenades ” towards Israeli troops. No Israeli has been wounded during the six-week movement.

In stark contrast to that of the White House, members of the general international reaction to the Israeli army’s actions has been condemnatory.

In a separate move defying global friends, Trump effectively drew out of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreed to by Tuesday, a decision that has shaken an already tumultuous Middle East.

On Thursday, Israel accused Tehran’s forces of launching a onslaught of rockets at its troops in the occupied Golan Heights. Iran did not confirm it had fired but the incident follows the reporting of multiple unclaimed and surreptitious Israeli ten-strikes on Tehran’s outposts in Syria this year.

Saying it was retaliating against the rockets, Israel launched a massive running on its Arab neighbour- the most significant in Syria since the early 70 s.

The Israel Defence Forces claimed its rockets make virtually all key Iranian military targets in Syria during dozens of strikes. The activity, nicknamed “house of cards”, was lauded by unnamed military officials in local media as a huge success against its enemies.

A poll this month found 63% of Israelis thought the embassy move was in Israel’s own best interest and 71% was held that the military’s open-fire policy in Gaza was justified. Closed to half believed Iran and Israel were unlikely to fight directly, although the poll was conducted before Thursday’s confrontation.

Ahead of the delegation opening, others have careful against joy over the US pullout of the Iran deal and the Israeli attack in Syria.

” In Israel these days, Benjamin Netanyahu is king and Donald Trump is a god. Adrenaline is flowing through the nation’s veins and testosterone could soon spill out ,” wrote Chemi Shalev, the US editor for the left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

“[ C] ritics of the two leaders can only hope and pray that their arrests are misplaced and that euphoria, for a change, won’t turn out to be a prelude to disaster ,” he said.

Iran’s foreign ministry said the attacks in Syria were launched on” developed pretexts” and that Damascus had every right to defend itself. In a more defiant atmosphere, a senior Iranian cleric close to the leadership, Ahmad Khatami, was quoted on nation Tv as telling:” We will expand our missile abilities despite western pressure .”

Ben Caspit, a prominent Israeli journalist, described their own nationals mindset of elation in Maariv, one of the country’s oldest daily newspapers, saying if Israel were playing a football match, the score “wouldve been”” 10 -0 in our prefer “.

” The trouble is that the final whistle can’t be blown any more ,” he wrote.” The dangerous play “that weve” depicted into can turn against us at any moment. It has no defined or clear rules … The security establishment knows that this wasn’t even the first half of video games. It was barely the beginning .”

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