Guatemala inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem amid controversy

Friends of Zion welcomes Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales to Israel

Earlier it was reported that Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales arrived in Israel amid violent protests in the Gaza Strip triggered by the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.

The announcement came one week before the United States embassy opened in Jerusalem on Monday in accordance with President Donald Trump's December 6 recognition of the city as Israel's capital.

"You were always among the first", he said.

The U.S. and Guatemalan moves break with decades of global consensus.

Some 150 people crammed into the foyer of the embassy, including US Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, Sheldon Adelson, Jerusalem mayor, Nir Barkat and numerous Guatemalan ministers and members of the legislature, attended the event.

They culminated Monday when Israel killed almost 60 Palestinians in clashes along the border.

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The move followed Washington's inauguration on Monday that drew global condemnation and violent clashes at the Gaza border that saw Israeli forces kill 60 Palestinian protesters.

Besides Guatemala, Paraguay says it will also relocate its embassy to Jerusalem and Romania, the Czech Republic and Honduras have said they are considering doing the same.

All foreign embassies in Israel were situated in the commercial capital Tel Aviv, prior to the USA and Guatemalan embassy moves.

The US however, blocked a statement drafted by Kuwait that called for an independent investigation in to the killing of the Palestinian protesters in Gaza, and that called on countries not to station their diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

Marking the move, the Jerusalem municipality illuminated the walls of the Old City walls late Tuesday with flags of Guatemala, Israel and the United States and a message thanking Morales.

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