Kushner, whom President Donald Trump tasked with bringing peace to the Middle East, said the US administration had almost completed a peace plan, but is undecided about when to reveal its contents, in light of the outrage the US embassy move sparked.
Ahead of Kushner’s address on Monday, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had killed 55 Palestinians and injured over 2,700 more at protests along the Gaza-Israeli border. The sixth week of the Great Return March has been the most deadly, and was described by the Palestinian government as a “terrible massacre.”
Monday’s wounded include 74 children and 23 women, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health. The total number of casualties at the protests stands at 97 over the six weeks.
“We believe, it is possible for both sides to gain more than they give – so that all people can live in peace – safe from danger, free from fear, and able to pursue their dreams,” Kushner’s said at the embassy opening on Monday.
Kushner also commended his father-in-law for breaking with decades of tradition to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested city of Jerusalem, saying that while his predecessors back down from their pledge on such a move, “when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.”
"Jerusalem must remain a city that brings all faiths together," says Jared Kusher #USEmbassy
— Paula Slier (@PaulaSlier_RT) May 14, 2018
However, the decision to move the embassy is seen as a massive win for Israel at the expense of Palestinians. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in the 1967 war, and Palestinians hope to have East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, should a peace agreement be reached.
“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 in reference to the ongoing Palestinian demonstrations in Gaza, in which no serious Israeli injuries have been reported.
US and Israeli dignitaries back-slapping at Jerusalem embassy opening as Israeli snipers massacre unarmed Palestinians in Gaza. Could there be a starker visual reminder that Israel is a legacy of the west's disastrous colonial interference in the ME? pic.twitter.com/V4YBEfCKbx
— Jonathan Cook (@Jonathan_K_Cook) May 14, 2018
Kushner wasn’t the only speaker to commend the embassy move as a sign of peace, while failing to address the reality of the deadly protests taking place nearby.
US Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said he was “confident the new US embassy in Jerusalem will be a magnificent tribute to peace.”
Meanwhile, America’s Ambassador to Israel David Friedman commended Trump for having the “vision, the courage and the moral clarity” to bring about the opening.