US warns citizens in Israel as embassy opening anniversary approaches


The United States Embassy in Israel has issued a security alert to American citizens in the occupied Palestinian lands ahead of the first anniversary of the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

The statement published on the diplomatic mission’s website on Monday warned of possible clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian resistance amid preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv on May 14-18, and Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe) on May 15.

Washington officially opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on May 14 last year, a few months after US President Trump recognized the holy city as the “capital” of Israel in December 2017.

The Monday alert specifically pointed to the resistance’s ability to fire missiles from Gaza Strip all the way to Tel Aviv.

“Security incidents can occur well beyond Gaza and its periphery and at any time, as demonstrated by the May 3-5 rocket attacks in southern Israel, including Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Be’er Sheva, and the March 14 and March 25 rocket attacks in Central Israel,” it added.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired around 700 missiles at various Israeli cities during a two-day conflict earlier this month.

Thousands of Palestinians are expected to partake in mass demonstrations on Nakba Day, the day on which the Israel came to life in 1948 after massacring scores of Palestinian people and taking their lands.

Various Palestinian groups have called on people to participate in the event, which can also be seen as an extension of the “Great March of Return,” a series of protests to protect Palestinian people’s right to take back their homes.

The opening of the embassy coincided with the Israeli military’s deadly crackdown on the peaceful protests. According to the United Nations Human Rights Council, Israeli soldiers have killed more than 180 protesters and shot over 9,000 more over a period since the protests began in March 2018.

The main event on this year’s Nakba Day will begin Wednesday, when protesters are expected to gather at the grave of Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and march from there towards the center of Ramallah.

The protesters will be carrying signs denouncing the so-called “Deal of the Century,” an alleged peace initiative drawn up by Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to end the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Available details about the deal are scarce but some leaks suggest that it will be heavily biased towards Israel and against resistance.

The protesters will call for the deal to adhere to the Palestinian basic principles, with “right of return” being the most important.

Palestinians have halted negotiations with the US in protest to Trump’s hostile moves in favor of Israel.

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