Guatemala Opens Embassy in Jerusalem Amid Criticism From Palestinians, International Community

Jerusalem’s Old City walls glow with Guatemala flags ahead of embassy launch

The inauguration was attended by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales.

Guatemala inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the USA opened its embassy in the disputed holy city. "You were the second country to recognize Israel", Netanyahu said referring to the country's establishment in 1948.

This comes two-days after the United States (US) inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem.

Israel has always claimed Jerusalem as its capital yet most countries opted to place their embassies in coastal Tel Aviv because of the holy city's contested status.

Trump's move reversed decades of USA policy, upsetting the Arab world and Western allies.

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On Monday, in the presence of a US delegation, including US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, a brand new US embassy was inaugurated at Jerusalem's Arnona area.

Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed it in a move not recognised internationally.

Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said: "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".

The Arab League and the French government called the embassy relocations illegal and a contravention of United Nations Security Council resolutions involving Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

They culminated in the killing of almost 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces in clashes along the border. It was the bloodiest day in the Hamas-run enclave since a 2014 war with Israel. The outlet says a couple of other countries are considering a similar move.

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