Guatemala inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem after USA move

Guatemala inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem after USA move

The outlet says a couple of other countries are considering a similar move.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were on site for the grand opening early Wednesday. The Central-American nation becomes the second country to do so after the United States.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was present Wednesday morning as Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales spoke of the "love, peace and fraternity" his country is bringing to Israel, hailing the move as a "courageous decision".

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales opened the embassy just two days after the USA inaugurated its new site in the disputed city.

The opening comes almost 30-years after the UN ordered Guatemala and 13 other nations to relocate their embassies from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

"I look forward to assessing with you the practical ways... that we can advance this friendship and this alliance", Netanyahu said. "You are the second country to recognize Israel, but you had a very important role in this". Paraguay said it will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of May.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

Jerusalem's status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the USA embassy relocation infuriated the Palestinians.

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The move averted threatened U.S. air strikes by the previous U.S. administration after about 1,000 people died in an August 2013 sarin gas attack .

Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector it annexed after the 1967 conflict, as its capital. 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.

The Israeli military, which has come under global criticism for firing on unarmed protesters, said Hamas militants tried to carry out bombing and shooting attacks under the cover of the protests and released video of protesters ripping away parts of the barbed-wire border fence.

Israel was criticised internationally for killing unarmed Palestinians.

Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador and consul general and several European countries summoned the Israeli ambassadors to their foreign ministries for questioning and called for an worldwide investigation.

"We are not surprised that a president that has objected to United Nations investigations into corruption and abuses of power has made a decision to further violate worldwide resolutions".

Following in US' footsteps, Guatemala opens its embassy in Jerusalem, despite global condemnation. The Gaza protesters set tires ablaze, sending up thick plumes of black smoke, and hurled firebombs and stones toward Israeli troops across the border.

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.

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