Moving embassy to Jerusalem: After US, Guatemala does the same; Paraguay next
After the US shifted its embassy to Jerusalem on Monday, May 14, another North American state Guatemala also did the same on Wednesday, May 16, heightening the danger of more diplomatic and other forms of tussle between Israel and Palestine in West Asia.
At least 60 people on the Palestinian side have already been killed, including an infant, while nearly 3,000 people were injured after the Israeli forces resorted to an armed retaliation against Palestinian protesters. The demonstrators have been protesting at the border for over a month now, starting March 30 or Land Day and culminating on Nakba (catastrophe) Day on May 15, a day after Israel's independence day. According to the UN, 112 people have been killed in the last six weeks.
The blood bath continued on Monday even when dignitaries were celebrating the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem - a decision which is being seen as dangerous by the international community.
That, however, did not deter Guatemala, a small central American country. Its president Jimmy Morales along with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu took part in the embassy's opening in an office complex in West Jerusalem.
"It's not a coincidence that Guatemala is opening its embassy in Jerusalem right among the first. You were always among the first. You were the second country to recognise Israel," reports quoted Netanyahu as saying on the occasion, lauding the Guatemalan prime minister.
Morales also said that Guatemala, Israel and the US shared "friendship, courage and loyalty".
Morales said his country, Israel and the United States "share friendship, courage and loyalty".
The story does not end with Guatemala, either. Paraguay, a Latin American country, said it was ready to move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of May as well.
Romania, the Czech Republic and Honduras would also follow suit, said reports.
Palestinian negotiators slammed the Guatemalan government's move saying it chose to stand "on the wrong side of history" and took "hostile step against the Palestinian people and the Arab world".