Guatemala opens new embassy in Jerusalem following USA lead

Illustrative Man holding a US passport
Illustrative Man holding a US passport

17 May, 2018

Guatemala has opened its embassy in Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of the United States, which inaugurated its embassy in the city two days prior, in a move that has triggered worldwide condemnation.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales attended the opening Wednesday morning of the embassy in the Technological Park of southern Jerusalem's Malha neighborhood.

Morales, a former comedian, repaid his hosts on his Twitter account, declaring today "a historic day in the friendship between Guatemala and Israel".

Since the 1967 war when Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the global community, as documented in a multitude of United Nations resolutions, supported the establishment of a Palestinian state on the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as the capital.

"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.

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The US embassy was officially opened in Jerusalem on Monday in an event attended by a large high-level American delegation, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and Israeli leaders. Angelina Solis, Guatemala's ambassador to Israel, hailed her country's decision to return to Jerusalem as a "brave" and "historic" and revealed her belief that "a lot of blessings will come after this decision".

And experts believe more countries in the region could yet follow.

The timing of this week's embassy inaugurations is not coincidental.

Wednesday's development comes amid widespread anger and protests in the occupied Palestinian territories, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or Catastrophe. The tragic deaths of unarmed citizens in Gaza this week have prevented this from happening and have highlighted the brutality of the Israeli occupation to a global audience.

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