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Palestine Slams as ‘Shameful’ Guatemala's Decision to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

Ramallah, December 26 (RHC)-- Palestine has strongly condemned as “shameful” Guatemala's decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize the city as Israel's capital.  “It's a shameful and illegal act that goes totally against the wishes of church leaders in Jerusalem” and violated a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution, which denounced the Washington’s provocative move, said a statement released by the Palestinian foreign ministry on Monday. 

The strongly-worded statement came a day after the small Central American country announced that it would be moving its diplomatic mission in Israel to Jerusalem, making it the first country to follow in the footsteps of Trump.  “The state of Palestine considers this as a flagrant act of hostility against the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and international law,” the statement further read, adding: “The state of Palestine will act with regional and international partners to oppose this illegal decision.” 

Guatemala says it will be moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, making it the first country to follow in the footsteps of US President Donald Trump.  On December 6th, Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate the U.S. embassy in occupied lands from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a highly contentious move that triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq, Morocco and other Muslim countries. 

On December 18th, 14 members of the 15-member UN Security Council voted in favor of an Egyptian-drafted resolution, which did not specifically name the U.S. or Trump but expressed “deep regret at recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem,” while U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley wielded Washington’s veto against the call, prompting the Palestinian government’s strong condemnation. 

Last Thursday, two-thirds of UN member states rejected Trump's decision to have Washington recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population. The UNGA’s resolution described the decision by Trump as “null and void.” 

Only eight countries, including four tiny Pacific islands, stood with the U.S. in voting no to the resolution.  Guatemala and fellow Central American country Honduras, both of which are dependent on U.S. funding, voted against the UN General Assembly's motion last week. 

Jerusalem remains at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians hoping that the eastern part of the city would eventually serve as the capital of a future independent Palestinian state.

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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