US Embassy opens in Jerusalem, violent protests leave 60 dead

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales Cabrera at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem

The bloodshed drew calls for restraint from some countries, including France and Britain, and stronger criticism from others, with regional power Turkey calling it "a massacre".

During the ceremony, Netanyahu praised the Central American country for its long friendship and recognition of the Jewish State.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales (L) speaks as he is received by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the latter's office in Jerusalem on May 16, 2018.

Guatemala opened an embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, two days after the United States inaugurated its new site in the contested city in a move that infuriated Palestinians and drew global condemnation.

The US officially opened its new embassy on 14 May to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the creation of Israel. You were always among the first. "You are the second country to recognize Israel, but you had a very important role in this".

At 10.30 am this morning, Guatemala officially opened its new, unfinished embassy in Jerusalem.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization's executive committee, also attacked Guatemala over the embassy opening, saying it will allow Israel to continue with the "total annexation and isolation of Palestinian Jerusalem".

Countries which had embassies in Jerusalem relocated to Tel Aviv after Israel passed a law in 1980 formally making Jerusalem its capital. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized.

Netanyahu told Morales that he would visit Guatemala on his next trip to Latin America.

In his remarks, Netanyahu highlighted the friendly relationship that both countries have shared since 1948 when Guatemala became the second country, after the USA, to recognize the State of Israel.

The White House pushed forward with its inauguration Monday, while Israeli forces using live fire on crowds of Palestinian demonstrators protesting against the deeply controversial opening. At least 60 Palestinians have been killed protesting in Gaza.

Palestinians have been demonstrating on the Gaza frontier for the past six weeks, demanding a return to family land or homes lost to Israel when it was founded in the 1948 Middle East war.

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