Guatemala to move embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in Trump's wake

Israel is welcoming Guatemala's decision to follow the United States in planning to transfer its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The 128-9 vote was a victory for Palestinians, but fell short of the total they had predicted.

Guatemala on Sunday announced that the country will shift its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Two Palestinians were killed in renewed clashes with Israeli forces, Gaza's Health Ministry said Friday, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged France and Europe to play a stronger role in peace efforts amid continued fallout over President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In a post on his official Facebook account, Mr Morales said that after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he chose to instruct Guatemala's Foreign Ministry to move the embassy.

Israel called Guatemala's vote "courageous".

Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital puts the U.S. out of step with the rest of the world, and legitimises Israeli settlement-building in the east - considered illegal under worldwide law.

The Trump administration says recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital is a "reflection of reality" and that the physical location of the embassy has no bearing on the USA commitment to a two-state solution in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, Palestinian authorities denounced the decision.

The resolution passed at the United Nations declared the USA action on Jerusalem "null and void".

Israelis see the whole of the city as their undivided capital while the Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state. Nineteen years later, in June 1967, Israel captured the eastern side, expanded the city's boundaries and annexed it - an act that was never recognised internationally.

Trump's December 6 announcement has triggered weeks of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces, which have left 12 Palestinians dead.

Kızılırmak said they had no knowledge of when and why they would be deported, as Turkey's Embassy to Tel Aviv and Consulate to Jerusalem are monitoring the issue.

  • Jon Douglas