Guatemala officially opened its new embassy in the heart of Jerusalem Wednesday, becoming the second nation to relocate its diplomatic mission to the holy city following the United States’ historic decision despite widespread global opposition.
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales was on hand to mark the opening ceremony, flanked by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who hailed the move “as one of the first” alongside the United States.
“You were always among the first,” Netanyahu told the audience. “We remember our friends and Guatemala is our friend, then and now.”
President Trump made history late last year when he officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; sparking outrage from the United Nations and other countries throughout the Middle East.
The UN recognizes Jerusalem as a “disputed international zone” and a possible capital for a future Palestinian state.
HELL FREEZES OVER: Schumer THANKS Trump for Jerusalem Embassy Move
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer praised President Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem Monday, calling the historic move “long overdue.”
The Senate’s top Democrat released an official statement to coincide with the opening of the embassy; echoing comments made by President Trump to Israeli and US dignitaries gathered for the event.
“In a long overdue move, we have moved our embassy to Jerusalem. Every nation should have the right to choose its capital,” said Schumer. “I sponsored legislation to do this two decades ago, and I applaud President Trump for doing it.”
The embassy’s opening comes as Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza; leaving at least 37 demonstrators dead as over 35,000 gathered at the heavily fortified border to protest the embassy’s relocation.
The event coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Jewish State, founded in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War.
ISRAEL ON EDGE: Jerusalem Braces for VIOLENCE as US Opens Embassy
Israeli security forces are on high-alert in the coming days as the United States prepares to open its embassy in Jerusalem; fulfilling years of American promises to relocate their diplomatic headquarters to the capital.
According to the Guardian, police and Israeli Defense Forces have increased security sweeps and patrols in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood expected to house the temporary American embassy while construction is in progress.
American officials plan to open the embassy on May 14, the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Jewish State in the immediate aftermath of World War II.
It remains unclear if President Trump will be on hand to officially open the diplomatic headquarters.
“We’re still waiting to see if the US president will come here for the opening move. The level of security will be raised accordingly,” said a spokesperson for Israeli police.
“When you have tens of thousands of people around the border there is no control over them,” said a security analyst in Gaza. “It would be my assumption that some protesters will try to breach the fence, will try to infiltrate into Israel.”