Netanyahu says Guatemala’s Jerusalem move ‘just the start’, Palestine calls it ‘shameful’
Guatemala was one of nine nations that voted with the US and Israel when the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a non-binding resolution denouncing Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.world Updated: Dec 25, 2017 21:14 IST
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Monday Guatemala’s decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem, saying other nations would also follow Washington’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital.
“Other countries will recognise Jerusalem and announce the relocation of their embassies. A second country did it and I repeat it: there will be others, it’s just the start and it’s important,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Guatemala’s announcement on Sunday came after the UN General Assembly approved a motion rejecting US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump’s announcement sparked anger across the Palestinian territories and the wider Muslim world.
The Palestinian foreign ministry said Guatemala’s decision to transfer its embassy to Jerusalem was “shameful”.
“It’s a shameful and illegal act that goes totally against the wishes of church leaders in Jerusalem” and of a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution condemning the US recognition, the ministry said in a statement.
Israel seized control of the eastern part of the city in the 1967 Middle East war and sees all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital. The Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.
No countries currently have their embassies in Jerusalem, instead keeping them in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv.
On Thursday, two-thirds of UN member states rejected Trump’s decision.
Only eight countries stood with the United States in voting against the resolution held in the UN General Assembly, among them Guatemala and Honduras.