Israel praises Guatemala for deciding to move embassy to Jerusalem
Guatemala, a US-ally recently became the first state to announce its decision to shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales had announced the move on a Facebook post. Israeli officials praised Morales for his courageous decision. "Your decision proves that you and your country are true friends of Israel," tweeted Israeli parliamentary speaker, Yuli Edelstein. Here's more about it.
Trump delivers on Israel promise, recognizes Jerusalem as capital
On December 7, Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in a bold and unprecedented step that reversed decades of official US policy. Trump termed the move "a long overdue step to advance the middle-east peace process." The status of Jerusalem is central to Israel-Palestine conflict. Israel lauded the announcement while several world leaders criticized it.
UN General Assembly resolution opposes Trump's Jerusalem declaration
On December 22, the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 in favor of a resolution rejecting Donald Trump's announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Members, including Guatemala and Honduras, were presumably forced to vote against the resolution alongside the US and Israel after Washington threatened to cut off their financial aid. Washington had vetoed a similar resolution sponsored by Egypt at the Security Council recently.
Tel Aviv: Where the embassies are
Foreign-embassies in Israel are situated in Tel Aviv as countries didn't recognize Israel's sovereignty over Jerusalem. 13 countries including Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and the Netherlands had embassies in Jerusalem before 1980. However, Israel passed a law in 1980 declaring Jerusalem as its "eternal and indivisible capital." A subsequent UNSC resolution called on countries to shift their embassies to Tel Aviv.
Israel congratulates President Morales
"I congratulate my friend (Morales) on his bold decision to move his country's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem... your decision proves you're true friends of Israel," tweeted Israeli parliamentary speaker, Yuli Edelstein. Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked thanked Morales for his "courageous decision" and expressed confidence that other countries will follow his lead soon.
Guatemala to re-locate after the US does?
Matty Cohen, Guatemalan ambassador to Israel stated on Army radio that no date has been set to move the embassy. "But it will happen after the US re-locates its own embassy to Jerusalem," he added. This might purportedly take upto 2 years.