Guatemala moves Israel embassy to Jerusalem, 2 days after US
17 May, 2018, 00:37 | Author: Dustin Murphy
Guatemala becomes the second nation to formally move their Israel embassy to Jerusalem.
Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the United States inaugurated its new site in the contested city in a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew global condemnation.
Palestinians have been demonstrating on the Gaza frontier for the past six weeks, demanding a return to family land or homes lost to Israel when it was founded in the 1948 Middle East war. The Guatemalan Congress recently passed a law marking May 14 as "Israel-Guatemala Friendship Day".
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales attended the opening Wednesday morning of the embassy in the Technological Park of southern Jerusalem's Malha neighborhood.
Morales said Guatemala was sending a message of "love, peace and fraternity" to Israel amid praise from Netanyahu.
"It's not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first".
Since the 1967 war when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the global community, as documented in a multitude of United Nations resolutions, supported the establishment of a Palestinian state on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the capital.
In December, President Donald Trump announced he would move the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and that he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the country.
Paraguay is scheduled to open a Jerusalem embassy on May 21 with its president, Horacio Cartes, due to be in attendance. Unsurprisingly, such rhetoric has been matched this week by Netanyahu, who felt "moved" at the sight of Guatemala's flag flying in Israel's "eternal capital" after an absence of 38 years. It closed in 1980 following a United Nations Security Council resolution that called for such closures.
The US, however, blocked a statement drafted by Kuwait calling for an independent investigation into the killings of Palestinian protesters in Gaza and calling on countries not to station their diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.
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Bruno Le Maire, France's foreign minister, said EU states would propose sanctions-blocking measures to the European Commission. The US action will also put the opening up of American Embassy on May 14 in Jerusalem in a different light.
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