Guatemala opens new embassy in Jerusalem following U.S. lead

JERUSALEM – Guatemala inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the U.S. opened its embassy in the disputed holy city.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut a blue-and-white ribbon as the official opening of the embassy.

Morales said Israel and Guatemala have a “deep friendship,” hoping that other countries will follow the same move.

Netanyahu hailed the opening of Guatemala’s embassy in Jerusalem as “the beginning of something extraordinary” in the relationship between the two countries.

The opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on Monday triggered deadly clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in Gaza and the West Bank that left 61 dead and over 2,000 others wounded.

On Tuesday, the Palestinians marked the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day, or “the Day of Catastrophe,” to demand their rights of return to homes occupied by Israel in the 1948 war.