Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) praised President Trump Monday for his “long overdue” relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“In a long overdue move, we have moved our embassy to Jerusalem,” Schumer said in a statement. “Every nation should have the right to choose its capital. I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.”
Schumer’s comment came as a Monday ceremony officially opened the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, 69 years after Israel declared the city its capital. At the ceremony, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Trump for acting upon what has ostensibly been U.S. policy since 1995, when Congress passed legislation requiring the move.
“What a glorious day. Remember this moment!” Netanyahu said before a cheering crowd. “President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful.”
The embassy opening sparked massive demonstrations in Gaza, which resulted in the killing of at least 43 protesters at the hands of Israeli forces. The Hamas-backed protests drew as many as 40,000 Palestinians, according to Israeli military estimates.
Ismail Radwan, a senior Hamas figure, vowed to continue the protests “until the rights of the Palestinian people are achieved.”
“Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will be a disaster for the American administration and a black day in the history of the American people because they are partners with the occupation and its aggression against the Palestinian people,” Radwan said.