Israel thanks Guatemala for pledge to move its embassy to Jerusalem

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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. 128 countries including India had voted in favour of the controversial move.

No other country has their embassy for Israel in Jerusalem, though the Czech Republic has said it is considering such a move.

Two Palestinians were killed in renewed clashes with Israeli forces, Gaza's Health Ministry said Friday, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged France and Europe to play a stronger role in peace efforts amid continued fallout over President Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "So far we have only seen the beginning", she said.

Israel called Guatemala's vote "courageous".

In a Facebook post, Morales said that he had a discussion with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu- after the talks he chose to instruct the foreign ministry to move the embassy to Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, Palestinian authorities denounced the decision.

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Guatemala was one of the few countries to vote with the US against passing a non-binding resolution at the United Nations declaring Trump's Jerusalem decision "null and void".

Israel seized the eastern part of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move not recognised by the global community.

The resolution passed at the United Nations declared the USA action on Jerusalem "null and void".

Trump's December 6 announcement has triggered weeks of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces, which have left 12 Palestinians dead.

In 1967, Israel took over East Jerusalem from Jordan and declared the whole city as its "eternal indivisible capital" in 1980.

A Palestinian died on Saturday after being wounded by Israeli fire during a protest on the Gaza border against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the health ministry said. Trump, however, has not set any deadline to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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