Guatemala moves embassy to Jerusalem, following U.S. lead

Saul Bowman
May 18, 2018

Israel said many of those killed were members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad terror groups who were using the violent protests as cover to carry out attacks and damage the border fence.

Palestinians will be looking for more than lip service from global bodies, and especially from Arab nations, to counter the weight of the U.S. which under Trump has now swung firmly behind Israel.

"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.

The high death toll from Israeli fire has led to worldwide condemnations of Israel and calls for an independent investigation.

Shortly after the Gaza violence, at the embassy opening ceremony, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu didn't show any remorse over the death of Palestinians.

"It's simply unacceptable and outrageous to use live fire, not as the last resort but as the basic modus operandi for dealing with these demonstrations", said Amir Gilutz, spokesman for Israeli human rights group B'tselem.

"We are making a sand barrier so people can feel a bit safer", one of the men said, declining to give his name.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to forging a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, who with broad global backing want East Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, as their capital. The Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as capital of their hoped-for state and vehemently oppose the USA move, recalled their ambassadors to four European countries that had supported it.

Some youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs at Israeli troops.

PE protesters join rage against Israel

Speaking at a dinner on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Erdogan said the majority of the worldwide community had failed to react to the events in Gaza, and warned that remaining silent would mean "opening a very risky door".

Gaza medics said two Palestinians were shot dead during Tuesday's demonstrations along the 51-km border.

Israel and militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

The Israeli military also released a video of civilians claiming that Hamas had forced people to rush the border wall toward Israel. No Hamas leaders were immune from Israeli targeting, he said, if they continue to dispatch "terrorists to kill us". No one questions the location of Israel's historic capital in Jerusalem, which has been holy to Jews for millennia. He said Ankara was pressing members of the UN Security Council to be more active.

Turkey expelled Israel's ambassador and consul general, and several European countries summoned 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 but insists its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop mass infiltrations from the Palestinian enclave, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas.

Meanwhile, Paraguay has also announced relocating its embassy to Jerusalem, whereas Romania, the Czech Republic and Honduras are considering doing the same. The Guatemalan Congress recently passed a law marking May 14 as "Israel-Guatemala Friendship Day".

Cavusoglu also urged the United Nations General Assembly to pass a resolution on Jerusalem, after the United States inaugurated its new embassy in the capital this week.


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