JERUSALEM (CBSNewYork/CBSNews) — On Monday, the United States will officially move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Both Israel and the Palestinians claim the city as their capital, so the change is sparking a combination of celebrations and protests, CBS2’s Meg Oliver reported Sunday.
People sang and danced in the streets to recognize “Jerusalem Day.”
The celebrations came as final preparations were being made for the opening of the new U.S. embassy in the city.
White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and his wife, President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, are part of the American delegation that will attend Monday’s ceremony.
In December, the president broke with decades of U.S. policy and decided to move the embassy out of Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump for recognizing Jerusalme as Israel’s capital.
“President Trump is making history. We are deeply grateful,” Netanyahu said.
Israelis living near the new embassy are also grateful.
“We thank America and we thank Trump,” resident Deborah Spinner said.
The holy city of Jerusalem is important to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Palestinians also claim the city as their capital — and have been protesting the U.S. change of direction for weeks. Palestinian leaders say Trump’s decision hurts any chance of the U.S. negotiating peace in the Middle East.
“It ended, from our point of view, the role of the United States as the broker, the owner of the peace process,” said Nabil Shaath, adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Along the Gaza border on Friday, CBS News found Israelis flying kites in a counter-demonstration.
“They kill their own. I mean, they kill their own,” said Leah Goldin, whose son Hadar was killed four years in a war with Hamas. His body was never returned. She’s angry and thinks Hamas is using Palestinians’ suffering for publicity.
Hundreds of Palestinians who have been protesting the embassy move marched through the streets of Gaza on Saturday carrying the body of a protester shot by Israeli troops. He was among an estimated 15,000 demonstrators, some burning tires and hurling rocks at Israeli forces. Palestinians have also started attaching fire-bombs to kites and flying them into Israel.
Palestinians are getting ready for another massive protest on Monday near the border with Israel, CBS2’s Oliver reported.