Guatemala Relocates Israel Embassy to Jerusalem

16 May, 2018, 14:09 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales

Guatemala has opened its embassy in Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of the United States that inaugurated its embassy in the city two days prior, in a move that has triggered worldwide condemnation.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the embassy opening in an office complex in west Jerusalem.

The U.S. and Guatemalan moves break with decades of global consensus.

"You were always among the first", he said at the ceremony.

On Monday, the US Embassy was opened in Jerusalem.

The move followed Washington's inauguration on Monday that drew global condemnation and violent clashes at the Gaza border that saw Israeli forces kill 60 Palestinian protesters.

The embassy move added fuel to the weekly Palestinian protests in Gaza demanding the right of return to Israel and the lifting of a decade-old naval blockade.

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Over 60 people, including several children, were killed and more than 2,700 others were injured in clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli forces.

The heavy Palestinian death toll, along with hundreds of wounded, made it by far the bloodiest day of cross-border violence since a devastating 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

All foreign embassies in Israel were situated in the commercial capital Tel Aviv, prior to the United States and Guatemalan embassy moves.

Israel's violent reaction to the protesters drew global criticism and mounting calls for an investigation.

At the same time, Israel has found other nations following the US lead and rallying to its defense.

Paraguay has said that it expects to follow suit and open its embassy in Jerusalem by the end of May. It's one of only seven countries that sided with the United States.

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