Jared Kushner makes rare remarks at Jerusalem embassy opening, condemns ‘those provoking violence’

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sits next to White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner as he speaks during the dedication ceremony of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018.

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US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman sits next to White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner as he speaks during the dedication ceremony of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018.
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Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

  • White House senior adviser Jared Kushner made a rare public appearance Monday and delivered remarks at the controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
  • Kushner condemned violence in the region on a day dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers.
  • At least 41 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,600 wounded in clashes with Israeli forces amid protests over the opening of the embassy, marking the bloodiest day in the Gaza Strip since the conflict with Israel in 2014.
  • Trump celebrated the opening of the embassy via Twitter on Monday, tweeting, “Big day for Israel. Congratulations!”

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner made a rare public appearance Monday and delivered remarks at the controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, in which he condemned violence in the region on a day dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli soldiers.

“As we have seen from the protests of the last month and even today, those provoking violence are part of the problem, and not part of the solution,” Kushner said.

palestinian protests gaza strip jerusalem embassy israel map

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Samantha Lee/Business Insider

Palestinian demonstrators run for cover from Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest against US embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018.

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Palestinian demonstrators run for cover from Israeli fire and tear gas during a protest against US embassy move to Jerusalem and ahead of the 70th anniversary of Nakba, at the Israel-Gaza border in the southern Gaza Strip May 14, 2018.
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Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

At least 41 Palestinians have been killed and over 1,600 wounded in clashes with Israeli forces amid protests over the opening of the embassy, marking the bloodiest day in the Gaza Strip since the conflict with Israel in 2014.

President Donald Trump’s decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem has been highly divisive, but Kushner championed the move in his speech.

“By moving our embassy to Jerusalem, we have shown the world once again that the United States can be trusted… The United States stands with Israel because we believe – we know – that it is the right thing to do,” Kushner said.

In moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a decision that was announced late in 2017, Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The move reversed decades of US foreign policy aimed at quelling hostilities between Palestine and Israel.

In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s divisive announcement, a chorus of voices – including the governments of key US allies such as the UK, France, and Germany – warned the decision was a mistake and could catalyze a wave of violence. Pope Francis issued a similar condemnation of Trump’s choice to move the embassy.

“I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days,” he said.

Amid the violence, Trump celebrated the opening of the embassy via Twitter on Monday, tweeting,“Big day for Israel. Congratulations!”