Guatemala moves Israel embassy to Jerusalem, 2 days after US

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US President Donald Trump's decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, enraging Palestinians, has left several Latin American countries pondering whether to follow suit. The United States opened its Jerusalem embassy in the southern Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood on Monday.

The event marks the day when Israel was created in the midst of a violent campaign that led to the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland.

(Left to right) Sara Netanyahu and her husband Prime Minister Benjamin applaud Guatemala President Jimmy Morales and his wife at the inauguration of the Guatemalan embassy.

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.

Morales said Guatemala was sending a message of "love, peace and fraternity" to Israel amid praise from Netanyahu.


"You are always among the first, always among the first.We remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend - then and now", Netanyahu went on, recalling that Guatemala was the second nation, after the United States, to recognize Israel in May 1948.

And Al Jazeera reports Paraguay plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of May. While other countries, including Honduras and the Czech Republic, have expressed interest in moving their embassies to Jerusalem, it remains unclear whether they will do so. That move caused some tension because both Israel and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Honduras, which voted with the USA and Israel on the December 21 United Nations resolution, is yet to decide on relocating from Tel Aviv, despite parliamentary approval for the move. 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.

The Security Council met in an emergency session on Tuesday to discuss developments in the Gaza Strip.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who with broad global backing want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as their capital.

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