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Published: Fri, May 18, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Guatemala Follows America's Lead, Opens Jerusalem Embassy

Guatemala Follows America's Lead, Opens Jerusalem Embassy

Guatemala becomes the second nation to formally move their Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

During the ceremony, Netanyahu praised the Central American country for its long friendship and recognition of the Jewish State.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the opening ceremony for the embassy, which will be housed in an office complex in west Jerusalem, according to Reuters.

Guatemala inaugurated its Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, becoming the first country to follow in the footsteps of the United States' deeply controversial move that was accompanied by deadly violence on the Gaza border.

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

And Al Jazeera reports Paraguay plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem by the end of May. "You were the second country to recognize Israel", Netanyahu said referring to the country's establishment in 1948.

"This is the beginning of something extraordinary, or I would say, the re-beginning of something extraordinary, which is the relationship between Guatemala and Israel", he said.

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

The embassy move aggravated the conflict between Palestinians and Israel.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the European Union have previously called for an independent probe, with 116 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since a campaign of protests on the Gaza-Israel border was launched on March 30.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, but it is not recognised by worldwide community.

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 global investigation.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the global community. The Gaza protesters hurled firebombs and stones towards Israeli troops across the border.

"The Guatemalan government has chosen to stand on the wrong side of history, to side with violations of worldwide law and human rights, and to take a hostile step against the Palestinian people and the Arab world", he wrote in a statement. These countries also demanded an global investigation.

Following in US' footsteps, Guatemala opens its embassy in Jerusalem, despite worldwide condemnation. "My next trip through Latin America goes through Guatemala", Netanyahu added, going on to state that Israel and Guatemala share values, and saying that the concepts of personal liberty and the rule of law were born in Jerusalem.

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