In a tweet sent early this morning, President Donald Trump urged Americans to tune in to the official opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday - which coincides with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel.
Outraged Palestinians protested along the border fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip, where more than two dozen demonstrators were slaughtered by Israeli Defense Forces. Among the dead were a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old. More than 900 Palestinians were wounded in the standoff. The opening ceremony is set to begin at 9 am ET. Watch it live below:
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is in Jerusalem for the occasion. As Israel prepared to celebrate the opening - something that every US president since Bill Clinton has promised to do, but only Trump has followed through with - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told revelers attending the event that Trump's declaration late last year recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital was "the right thing to do," as Fox reported.
Netanyahu said: "Thank you, President Trump, for your bold decision. Thank you for making the alliance between Israel and the United States stronger than ever...it's been the capital of our state for the past 70 years. It will remain our capital for all time," he said.
President Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner (who is nominally in charge of the Trump administration's efforts to promote peace in the Middle East) were sitting int he front row for the ceremony not far from Netanyahu.
Netanyahu said their presence at the event is a "national and international statement" that "touches our hearts."
Meanwhile, dozens of countries - including the UK and France - were skipping the ceremony in protest, and also avoided Independence Day celebrations, which began last night - though Monday is the official anniversary of the country's founding in 1948.