Politicians react to opening of new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WMC) - Dozens of Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured while protesting against the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

As Israelis cheered the opening of the new embassy, Israeli forces cracked down on Palestinian protesters at the border.

The clashes happened as Israel's leader praised President Donald Trump for moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed capital.

The Jewish people have been waiting centuries for the move.

"This city and entire nation is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people," Trump said. "The United States will always be a great friend of Israel."

Palestinians and their supporters blame Israel for the violence and said the U.S. is now siding with Israel over this disputed city.

This move has been widely criticized by many U.S. allies, whose ambassadors chose to skip the ceremony on Monday.

WMC Action News 5 reached out to several Mid-South lawmakers for their response to the embassy's opening.

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) released this statement:

"During my first year in Congress, I supported bipartisan legislation to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.  Today, the President has kept his word and America's promise to relocate our embassy to Israel's rightful capital.  I am proud this long-term goal has finally been achieved.  We should respect Israel's right to determine its own capital.  Resolving this question will allow the peace process to move forward."

U.S. Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) released this statement:

"I fear this will result in more deaths like those we've already seen today in Gaza and another Intifada that will result in the loss of lives from terrorism within Israel."

U.S. Senator Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) released this statement:

"Today's ceremony on the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel reaffirms our close and enduring partnership with the only democracy in the Middle East," said Corker. "I applaud the Trump administration for following through on the bipartisan will of Congress to relocate the U.S. embassy, which is a long overdue acknowledgment of Jerusalem as Israel's seat of government."

U.S Congressman David Kustoff (R-Tennessee) released this statement:

"Today on the 70th anniversary of Israel's independence, Jerusalem--the unequivocal capital, is finally home to our U.S. Embassy. I am pleased to see that we are once again taking the initiative to strengthen our relationship with Israel and maintain our commitment to the nation," said Kustoff. "I support President Trump's decision to make this long overdue move to the holy city, a reality."

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