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Israel Welcomes Guatemala's Announcement on Future Embassy Move

Israel Welcomes Guatemala's Announcement on Future Embassy Move

"We are in contact with at least ten countries, some of them in Europe" to discuss the move, deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely told public radio.

Despite an global backlash, President Donald Trump recently recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, The Hill noted.

No other country has their embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, though the Czech Republic has said it is considering such a move. Netanyahu said on Twitter, "It is just the beginning and it is important".

Guatemala's president announced on Christmas Eve that the Central American country will move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, becoming the first nation to follow the lead of U.S. President Donald Trump in ordering the change.

Recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital puts the United States out of step with the rest of the world, and legitimises Israeli settlement-building in the east - considered illegal under worldwide law.

Morales said in a brief post on his official Facebook page that he made the decision after speaking earlier in the day with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, Palestinian authorities denounced the decision.

Last Thursday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a resolution - by a vote of 128 to 9 - calling on Trump to reverse the decision. Adding that, "the state of Palestine considers this as a flagrant act of hostility against the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and global law".

The resolution passed at the United Nations declared the U.S. action on Jerusalem "null and void". Nineteen years later, in June 1967, Israel captured the eastern side, expanded the city's boundaries and annexed it - an act that was never recognised internationally.

Palestinians have been clashing with Israeli troops since Trump's Jerusalem announcement on December 6. For their part, the Palestinians say East Jerusalem must be the capital of a future independent Palestinian state. Trump, however, has not set any deadline to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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