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Trump president of ‘Nakba’

Tehran, Our greatest hope is for peace, said US President Donald Trump at the opening ceremony of the US embassy in al Quds (Jerusalem) on a day described by many as the deadliest day for Palestinians in Gaza border gathered in a show of protest against relocation of American embassy.

A special US delegation, comprised of Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, attended the ceremony on Monday to, as appeared in the words of Kushner, prove that when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.

The United States will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of freedom and peace, Trump said, in a recorded speech, addressing the pageantry of joy and appeasement in al Quds while the Israeli snipers had in their crosshairs the Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border, killing at least 59, including six children, and injuring more than 2,700 others in a single day, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The US 'appeasement scenario' played out in the site of its new embassy in the Occupied Territories also coincided with the 70th anniversary of the Zionist occupation of the Palestinian Lands, a 1948 incident the protesting Palestinian people commemorate each year as the Day of Nakba (Catastrophe), the very same nasty juncture in the Palestinians' life that uprooted them from their homeland.

The timing is no coincidence, though; Washington, the self-proclaimed godfather of the world and the one considering itself as an integral part of any deal across the globe, this time squarely stood by its old regional ally and main proxy to throw its full weight behind a fraudulent occupying regime that, after all, has acted well enough to help the United States maintain a regional hegemony; a Zionist knife in Washington's hand.

Ilan Goldenberg, a Middle East expert with the Center for New American Security, argued that Trump's decision significantly undercuts the US' credibility as a neutral party in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians and the so-called peace process.

The US move to relocate its embassy caused strong reactions on part of global leaders and organizations.

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the US embassy opening in al Quds 'a day of great shame'.

'Israeli regime massacres countless Palestinians in cold blood as they protest in the world's largest open air prison,' Zarif wrote on Twitter.

Mikhail Bogdanov, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister denounced Donald Trump's decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, saying it will further fuel tensions between Israel and the Palestinians.

Bogdanov described the relocation of the embassy as 'short-sighted', saying the move by the White House 'runs against the stance of most of the international community'.

He blamed Washington for 'a sharp escalation around Gaza', and said the relocation of the American embassy 'could spark large-scale confrontations between Palestinians and the Israelis and cause a rising number of casualties'.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the actions of the Israeli forces as a 'genocide' and Israel as a 'terrorist state'.

'No matter from what side, whether from the United States or Israel, I curse this humanitarian plight, this genocide,' Erdogan said.

The Cairo-based Arab League urged the international community to oppose what it considers an 'unjust decision' and the ongoing 'Israeli occupation' of the city, calling the US move a 'blatant attack on the feelings of Arabs and Muslims', and a 'grave violation of the rules of international law' that would destabilize the region.

The Al-Azhar religious institution in Egypt called on the international community to use 'all peaceful means' to 'dismiss positions of countries that sided with the Zionist entity'.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, called for the immediate stop of the killing of the Palestinians.

'Shocking killing of dozens, injury of hundreds by Israeli live fire in Gaza must stop now. The right to life must be respected. Those responsible for outrageous human rights violations must be held to account. The international community needs to ensure justice for victims,' a statement by the UN human rights read on Twitter.

Pakistan's foreign ministry said that the US embassy move to al Quds is in violation of the international law and several UN Security Council resolutions, in particular resolutions 476 and 478.

'The government and people of Pakistan stand firmly with the Palestinian people,' it said in a statement read.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, also expressed concern over 'the high number of people killed' in Gaza by the Israeli live fire.

'I am profoundly alarmed and concerned by the sharp escalation of violence and the number of Palestinians killed and injured in the Gaza protests. It is imperative that everyone shows the utmost restraint to avoid further loss of life,' Guterres wrote in his Twitter post.

Riyad Mansour Permanent Observer of the State of Palestine to the United Nations, in a statement tried to remind the world the ordeal the Palestinian people have been through for the past 70 years and the catastrophic juncture in the history of Palestine in 1948 the Zionist regime of Israel has been trying relentlessly to consign to oblivion.

'We appeal to the Security Council to act urgently to avert the further destabilization of this extremely fragile situation, with due consideration for this sensitive juncture of plight of the Palestinian people in light of more than 50 years of the Israeli foreign occupation of their land and the marking, on 15 May 2018, of the passage of 70 years since the tragic Nakba of the Palestinian people in 1948, a grave historical injustice that continues today and continues to pose a threat to international peace and security,' read the statement by Mansour.

Governments in Europe also reacted to the killing of Palestinians on Gaza border who were using their right to peacefully show their protest against the US decision to relocate its embassy to Al Quds.

The German government expressed deep concern about the dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli troops in Gaza, urging Tel Aviv to stop targeting demonstrators using live munitions.

'The right to peaceful protest must also apply in Gaza,' a German foreign ministry spokeswoman said, while Angela Merkel said that the German government does not agree with Trump's decision and will stand by existing UN resolutions on the issue.

Trump also came under fire from French President Emmanuel Macron, stressing France's opposition to the decision by the US president to move the embassy.

Macron also condemned the violence of Israeli armed forces against demonstrators.

Another European official, EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini told reporters in Brussels that what Trump did was 'very worrying'.

It is a very fragile context and the announcement has the potential to send us backwards to even darker times than the ones we are already living in, Mogherini said, referring to the relocation of US embassy to al Quds.

Why Trump did so?

As Politico points out the idea of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Al Quds (Jerusalem) is not new, as former US presidents were also among supporters of such a move.

'Bill Clinton said he supported the idea in principle. George W. Bush declared he would move the US ambassador there in 2000. And Barack Obama, for his part, referred to the city as the capital of Israel and said it must remain undivided, wrote the Politico.

Moreover, according to the American political media company, the US, 'Congress has also repeatedly passed legislation calling for the embassy move.'

And now the controversial president of the United States whose election surprised many both inside and outside America and the one who raised many eyebrows by taking the role of a dealbreaker to move against traditions.

Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris climate-change accord, exited the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, and reversed aspects of the US opening towards Cuba, wrote the Atlantic.

He and his administration also ended American membership in UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, over the organization's alleged anti-Israel bias and indicated that the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico might conclude with the pact's collapse.

More importantly, the US president, on May 8, unilaterally pulled out the country from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, better known as the Iran Deal; a landmark international agreement signed between Iran and P5+1 group of nations in 2015 and a deal many believe helped peace both in the region and beyond, by allowing Iran at the same time to continue its peaceful nuclear activities.

This is while, Trump was very quick in striking a multibillion-dollar arms agreement with Saudi Arabia during his tour of the Middle East.

In fact, one of the reasons he has chosen to renege on international agreements is his business approach towards international issues. Unlike his predecessors who were probably wary of attempts tended to tarnish their political image, businessman Trump prefers to safeguard benefits, especially economic ones, at any price.

The 'Withdrawal Doctrine, Richard Haass, President of the nonpartisan Council on Foreign Relations said is founding Trump's foreign policy tends to portray the US president as a real-estate mogul who is mulling over tearing down a building to build up something new.

But to be on the safe side, the businessman needs to embark on some dramatic political moves like the one he did in al Quds, closing his eyes on the Palestinians and their rights and of course on the live ammunitions used by the Zionist troops against unarmed civilians.

*Reza Bahar is on the editorial staff of IRNA English news.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA

The iran News Gazette is mainly concerned with news and information about the Arab region and also covers international issues. Its main objective is to provide reliable and verified information on the Arab region for publishing on the digital landscape.