Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Palestinians blast Guatemala over Jerusalem embassy opening

Workers hanging from the side of a building place a banner welcoming the opening of the new Guatemalan embassy in Jerusalem in the complex hosting the new embassy in Jerusalem Guatemala Follows US, Opens Embassy in Jerusalem
Charlie Simmons | 17 May, 2018, 01:59

But Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the United States had opened an "American settlement outpost in East Jerusalem".

The Israeli premier said he would visit Guatemala on his next visit to Latin America. Trump said the embassy relocation from Tel Aviv fulfilled a pledge by multiple USA presidents, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, by recognizing the holy city as the Israeli capital.

Guatemala is the first country to follow the USA by opening its embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, just days after deadly protests rocked the Gaza border leaving dozens of Palestinians dead.

"It's not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first, you are always among the first", said Netanyahu.

"We remember our friends, and Guatemala is our friend - then and now", Netanyahu said. The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem, which Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War.

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The Palestinians castigated Guatemala over the opening of its Jerusalem embassy earlier Wednesday, accusing the Central American nation of violating global law and using Christianity to justify the move.

"The Guatemalan government has positioned itself alongside Israel and its war crimes, defying worldwide law and supporting the military occupation and the illegal annexation of Jerusalem by relocating its embassy to occupied Jerusalem", she said, according to the official Wafa news agency. It became the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since 2014, Palestinian Health Ministry officials said 58 protesters were killed and 2,700 injured by live gunfire, tear gas or other means. Israel's passage in June 1980 of a law proclaiming Jerusalem its "indivisible and eternal capital" led to a UN Security Council resolution calling on Guatemala and several other countries to move their embassies to Tel Aviv. The U.S. said it chose the date to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel's establishment.

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.

This is not the first time Guatemala has mimicked a US decision when it comes to Israel.

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