Ivanka Trump returning to Jerusalem for embassy dedication ‘with joy’
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Ivanka Trump returning to Jerusalem for embassy dedication ‘with joy’

White House adviser and president's daughter says she's 'honored' to attend inauguration timed to coincide with anniversary of Israel's independence

Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City on May 22, 2017. (AFP/Pool/Ronen Zvulun)
Ivanka Trump, the daughter of US President Donald Trump, visits the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, in Jerusalem's Old City on May 22, 2017. (AFP/Pool/Ronen Zvulun)

White House adviser Ivanka Trump said she is returning to Jerusalem next week “with great joy” to attend the official inauguration of the new US embassy in the Israeli capital.

Trump on Friday posted a photo on Instagram of herself praying at the Western Wall last year, with accompanying text praising “momentous” occasion that was timed to coincide with Israel’s 70th Independence Day.

“With great joy, I am returning to Jerusalem,” she wrote in the post. “I am honored to join the distinguished delegation representing President Trump, his Administration, and the American people at this momentous ceremony commemorating the opening of our new US Embassy in Jerusalem, Israel.”

She said the visiting US officials “look forward to celebrating Israel’s 70th anniversary and the bright future ahead. We will pray for the boundless potential of the future of the US-Israel alliance, and we will pray for peace.”

Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner are part of the 250-strong delegation from the US attending the official dedication ceremony for the US Embassy in Jerusalem’s Arnona neighborhood on May 14.

Kushner, who also serves as a White House adviser, has been a key architect of the US administration’s efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

Ivanka Trump accompanied her father on his visit to Israel last June. After praying at the Western Wall, Ivanka Trump, who is Jewish, described the experience as “beyond special — for each of these moments it’s hard to find the words to adequately describe them.”

The American delegation arriving early next week will be lead by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and will include some 40 lawmakers. Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham are reportedly expected to attend, as is Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt. The group is also expected to include Jewish leaders and heads of pro-Israel Christian organizations.

Israeli police over the weekend said that security had been bolstered throughout Jerusalem in preparation for a politically tense week that will see over a month of Palestinian protests culminate on the US embassy move.

A police official told the Ynet news site Friday that thousands of uniformed police and Border Police officers will be deployed throughout Jerusalem starting Sunday. He said the officers will secure the perimeter of the US embassy during the Monday opening, assist in securing the visiting American officials, and help direct traffic.

The official added that as part of police’s preparations for the embassy ceremony have included carrying out “overt and covert operations against anyone who intended to disrupt or damage the ceremony,” without elaborating.

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