Middle East (MNN) – Protests over the U.S. Embassy’s move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem are continuing in Gaza.
Protests from Palestinian demonstrators triggered on March 30 at the Gaza border and have turned violent.
More than 100 people have been killed in the violence and hundreds more have been injured. Times of Israel reported 40,000 Palestinians protested on May 14, the day the embassy was moved. Sixty people were killed that day alone.
A ceremony was held that day at the U.S. Consulate and Ambassador David Friedman and some of the offices from the Tel Aviv location moved to the consulate building in Jerusalem.
Delaying the Move
However, despite these actions, President Trump signed a waiver which permits six months of delay to the move. This waiver has been signed and used by U.S. presidents since 1995.
The U.S. Embassy was established in Tel Aviv in 1966, acting as a neutral area between Israelis and the Palestinians. In 1995, Congress passed an act that said it would move the embassy to Jerusalem, but a clause in the act allowed presidents to suspend the move for six months if they believed it would jeopardize American national security.
President Clinton, President Bush, and President Obama all suspended the move every six months.
President Trump has now signed the waiver again.
Haaretz reports he has signed this to guarantee safe residency for Ambassador Friedman and to ensure security to the embassy in Jerusalem.
USA Today reported other than Ambassador Friedman and the few offices that have transferred, the 850 embassy workers in Tel Aviv will not be transferred to Jerusalem until a building is constructed, which may take up to nine years.
Yet now that the initial move has taken place, some are viewing this as the U.S. siding with Israel instead of continuing to remain neutral between the Israelis and the Palestinians. This is what led to the protests on the Gaza border.
“That’s all Iran [and] Iraq against the Jewish embassy opening up and the declaration of Jerusalem being the capital,” Triumphant Mercy’s Nuna says.
Fears for the Future
She adds that fear and concern of the threat of war is growing in the region and in the ministry. Citizens are worried and asking if they should prepare for war by storing up food and other items.
Their concern, she says, is “mainly about war because they’re talking about the Arab alliances coming against…Israel and now the whole Palestinian, Jewish. It’s a whole mixture of thing[s] and the rise of the Arab coalition to just come against Jerusalem involves us big time because we are just at the border.”
She admits that the threats are real and there are no assurances of what’s to come. However, she believes God still has a plan for the Middle East and Christians need to pray.
“We just pray because we know that God still has a plan for not only Lebanon but Israel also. In fact, He has a plan for the whole Middle East, for all Assyria. He has a plan, so, we’re just believing it,” Nuna says.
Pray that the Lord will bring peace in Gaza and in Israel and that He will end the violence. Pray leaders will have wisdom on what actions and responses they should take.
The Middle East is in desperate need of God’s peace and now is the time to share and spread it.
Come alongside Triumphant Mercy as they share the Gospel.
“I want to invite teams, people, any kind from medical to kids to any kind… We need people like that to just be alongside us. We have so much work to do.”