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A speech of US President Donald Trump is televised during the opening ceremony of the new US embassy in Jerusalem. Ilia Yefimovich/DPA/PA Images

Israel calls on Ireland to follow US example and move its embassy to Jerusalem

The United States officially opened its new embassy in Jerusalem today.

THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT has said that Ireland should follow the example of the US and move its embassy in the country to the city of Jerusalem.

The United States officially opened its new embassy in Jerusalem today, a move which has sparked bloody protests from Palestinians and received widespread international condemnation.

At least 37 Palestinians died and many more are injured after clashes erupted along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel.

Palestinians are vehemently opposed to the embassy opening in Jerusalem, as they see East Jerusalem as the rightful capital of the Palestinian state.

However, the move has been warmly welcomed by the Israeli government, with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu today praising US president Donald Trump and the US at the inauguration.

Speaking to an RTÉ reporter in Israel today, Israeli government spokesperson Michal Maayan said that the state was also inviting Ireland to join the US in moving its embassy to the city.

“We’re inviting Ireland to join because… Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It’s going to be the capital of Israel whatever future settlement we will arrive with Palestinians,” she said.

“Hence it’s not really a conflict, not for us, not for future agreements and I think we can see also the reaction amongst the Arab world, the rest of the world.

Everyone thought the sky was going to fall when this resolution passed, when the announcement passed, when we can see that it’s all so natural for the US and other countries.

She then called on Ireland to join the US.

“So we call on Ireland to join this and to move its embassy. And obviously Jerusalem is going to be a complex issue that will be resolved once the Palestinians return to the table to negotiations, this is going to be one of the issues,” she said.

But moving embassies to Jerusalem isn’t stopping peace, it’s actually helping peace because it’s helping the Palestinians realise that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish state of Israel and it helps them realise a reality that’s very important to us to go further on.

The Irish embassy in Israel is currently located in the town of Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.

Responding to the invitation on RTÉ’s News at One, Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said that the US decision around its embassy was “unwise”.

He said Ireland would not relocate its embassy “unless and until there is a comprehensive agreement on a broader peace process”.

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