Guatemala opens new embassy in Jerusalem following USA lead

Guatemala opens new embassy in Jerusalem following USA lead

Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after United States inaugurated its new site in the contested city in a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew worldwide condemnation.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut a blue-and-white ribbon as the official opening of the embassy. In the ceremony which was held on Wednesday, Morales said that Guatemala was bringing a message of "love, peace and fraternity" to Israel.

Guatemala opened its new embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Mohammad Momani, the Minister of State for Media Affairs, called the move "an irresponsible step" and that all "peace-loving countries should support the two-state solution based on the worldwide legitimacy, which calls on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on pre-June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital".

On Monday, tens of thousands had gathered near the border while smaller numbers of stone-throwing Palestinians approached the fence and sought to break through, with Israeli snipers positioned on the other side. The Israeli forces killed almost 60 Palestinians in the clashes along the border this Monday.

"The Hamas leadership is a group of cannibals who treat their children as armament", he said during a visit to a military base in southern Israel. The latter is a major arms supplier to the Central American nation.

Most of those killed were shot by Israeli snipers, the Gazan health ministry said, in the bloodiest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since a 2014 Gaza war.

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 has faced worldwide criticism over its use of live fire.

The diplomatic spat with Turkey intensifed after what Israel called the humiliating treatment of its ambassador, who was subjected to a severe security screening upon his departure from the airport in Istanbul. In response, Israel has summoned a top Turkish diplomat to be reprimanded. The move comes just two days after the USA opened its own embassy in the city.

At the same time, Israel has found other nations following the USA lead and rallying to its defense. Netanyahu and Morales were scheduled to also sit down to an official dinner at the Prime Minister's Residence together with their wives.

Paraguay is expected to follow the U.S and Guatemala's lead, and plans to relocate their embassy to Jerusalem in the coming weeks. "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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