The new American embassy in Jerusalem is officially open for business. U.S.-Israel Ambassador David Friedman called it a historic day before introducing a video statement from President Donald Trump. He said the new embassy makes a strong statement that Jerusalem is the historic capital of Israel and called it a "testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people." He promised that the "United States will always be a great friend of Israel and a partner in the cause of peace."
After the president's address, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trump's daughter Ivanka unveiled the embassy plaque on the front of the building.
Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last December and announced plans to start moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israel applauded Trump's moves but some other U.S. allies strongly argued against it. They warned that it could provoke violence and further destabilize the volatile Middle East.
Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops along the Gaza border resulting in dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.
More than 50 U.S. diplomats will staff the Jerusalem embassy and the operation is expected to grow in coming months.
Photo: Getty Images