Guatemala Opens Jerusalem Embassy, Two Days After US

Frederick Owens
May 18, 2018

Israeli-Palestinian tensions have been on the rise since December, when US President Donald Trump announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, triggering furious protests violently suppressed by the IDF.

Speaking in an interview to state-broadcaster TRT Haber, Cavusoglu also said that an independent commission needs to prepare a report on the violence in Gaza and that Israel needs to stand in the face of law. "You are always among the first, always among the first", he said, referring to Guatemala's role in lobbying for Israel's establishment in the 1940s. "We remember our friends and Guatemala is our friend, then and now".

Kuwait, which requested Tuesday's meeting, had tried to get council members to sign on Monday to a statement that would have demanded that all countries comply with a decades-old Security Council resolution that called on them not to have embassies in contested Jerusalem.

The opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem is a poignant event for Hamas, which has hoped for years to reclaim East Jerusalem and make it the capital of the Palestinian state.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the global community.

The Palestinians, who seek east Jerusalem as capital of their hoped-for state, vehemently oppose the U.S. Embassy's relocation from Tel Aviv, seeing it as a one-sided move that invalidates the a Mideast peace broker.

Two million people live in the narrow strip, most stateless descendants of refugees who fled or were driven out of homes in Israel at the time of its founding.

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Israel accuses Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of seeking to use the demonstrations as cover for violence. The military said 14 of those killed Monday were actively involved in carrying out attacks.

Israel launched an overnight raid in Gaza after it said gunfire from the territory targeted its soldiers and damaged a building. "They have rocket armament, personal armament and another kind of armament - their children and women".

Young men filled sandbags to prepare for future protests at encampments along Gaza's Israeli border on Thursday, though tents were mostly empty as Palestinians joined Muslims around the world observing the daylight fast at the start of Ramadan.

Palestinian officials say the vast majority of the casualties have been unarmed protesters.

IDF released footage of a Hamas terrorist explaining how the group manipulated Palestinians in Gaza to rush the border with Israel.

Countries have summoned and recalled ambassadors, the United Nations has issued condemnations and some have called for an investigation of Israel's actions. Israel responded to its envoy's expulsion on Tuesday by expelling Turkey's Jerusalem consul.

Accompanied by a personal security guard and some consulate officers, Na'eh left for Tel Aviv from Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport at 11:30 a.m. on a Turkish Airlines charter plane.

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