Trump calls Jerusalem embassy move 'great day for Israel' amid Gaza massacre

Trump calls Jerusalem embassy move 'great day for Israel' amid Gaza massacre
2 min read
Trump on Monday hailed the scheduled opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem as "a great day for Israel," as Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Trump on Monday hailed the scheduled opening of the US embassy. [Getty]

US President Donald Trump on Monday hailed the scheduled opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem as "a great day for Israel," as Israeli military forces killed dozens of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Health Ministry said at least 37 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire amid mass protests on the border against the transfer of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Trump made no reference to the violence in an early morning tweet, instead inviting Twitter followers to watch live coverage of the embassy opening on Fox News channels, which was to begin at 1300 GMT.

"Lead up to 9:00 A.M. (eastern) event has already begun. A great day for Israel!" Trump tweeted.

More then 900 Palestinians were injured as demonstrators streamed to the border on the day the US prepared to open its embassy in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Authority government based in the occupied West Bank accused Israel of committing a "terrible massacre."

Monday's inauguration ceremony at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT) will include around 800 guests - though not Trump himself - at what until now had been a US consulate building in Jerusalem.

US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan will lead the Washington delegation that includes Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner, both White House aides, as well as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly called Trump's decision "historic", welcomed them at a reception on Sunday.

"Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for the past 3,000 years," he said.

"It's been the capital of our state for the past 70 years. It will remain our capital for all time."

Saeb Erekat, Palestine Liberation Organisation secretary-general, called Trump’s decision  a "hostile act against international law".