Following Trump's lead, Guatemala to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem

Saul Bowman
December 25, 2017

"I have given instructions to the foreign ministry that it starts the necessary respective coordination to make this happen", Morales added.

"Wonderful news and true friendship!", he wrote on Twitter.

The United States Government has spoken of an impending sanction for Nigeria and other countries that voted against its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Guatemala and neighbouring Honduras were two of only a handful of countries to join Israel and the United States, which has pledged to move its embassy to Jerusalem, in voting against the U.N. resolution.

"We will also defend the rights and justice of Orthodox and Catholics in Jerusalem if necessary, as we did throughout history", he said, asserting that Turkey "will not allow" Jerusalem "into a bloodbath".

The two nations are, along with El Salvador, in what is known as the Northern Triangle of Central America.

A second man, 29-year-old Mohammed Mohaisen, died later in clashes east of Gaza City, it said.

The vote, which essentially delivered a formal statement of a United Nations opinion, also adds political pressure on the White House to retreat from its decision. Conservative Christians who support Trump likely venerate Jerusalem and will conflate the political designation with ideological belief.

The United States ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, had said her country would "take names" of the states opposing its position, and Trump threatened to cut funding to countries "that take our money and then vote against us".

Thirty-five nations, including Australia, abstained and 21 stayed away from the vote. Twenty-one countries did not cast a vote.

Hundreds of Palestinian protesters at various points along the Gaza border threw stones at Israeli forces, who responded with smoke grenades and live and rubber bullets, AFP correspondents said.

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