Israel in touch with '10 countries' over Jerusalem embassy move
Gali Tibbon (AFP/File)
Israel is in contact with “at least 10 countries” who have expressed their intentions to move their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said on Monday, in the wake of US President Trump’s widely-contested December 6 decision.
"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.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Hotovely refused to name the countries she was in talks with but Channel 10 reported that Honduras was the next likely country to follow suit from its neighbouring Guatemala. Both Central American countries were two of the nine nations that voted “no” alongside the US at the UN General Assembly to oppose the denouncement of Trump’s decision.
Other countries named amid the speculation of the Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem move included the Philippines, Romania and South Sudan.
Israel and Honduras have a short history of close ties, in 2016 they signed an agreement where Israel agreed to provide military assistance to enhance the country’s armed force in its efforts to fight organized crime
Hotovely said US President Donald Trump's statement would "trigger a wave" of such moves. "So far we have only seen the beginning," she said.
Guatemala, in the early hours of Monday became the second country, to declare its decision to move its Tel Aviv embassy following Trump’s lead.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu praising the decision said, “God bless you my friend, President Morales! God bless both our countries - Israel and Guatemala!”
The Palestinians have declared the Guatemalan decision, “a shameful and illegal act that goes totally against the wishes of church leaders in Jerusalem.” Adding that, “the state of Palestine considers this as a flagrant act of hostility against the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and international law.”
Israel seized the eastern part of Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the international community.
Several mainly Latin American countries had diplomatic missions in Jerusalem until a 1980 UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel's attempt to alter the "character and status" of the city, saying it was a barrier to peace.
Trump's announcement on December 6 sparked anger in the Palestinian territories and across the Muslim world.
Israelis see the whole of the city as their undivided capital while the Palestinians view the east as the capital of their future state.
No country currently has its embassy in Jerusalem, instead keeping them in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv.
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I hope "palistinians" are now understanding that both their fatah and hamas "leaders" have failed them at every opportunity since arafat first chose war over the offer of 95% of their demands for a state and peace. Abbas is still an arafat era terrorist, holocaust denier and jew-hater who has his schools teaching the next generation of palistinians the ways of hate and bigotry and failure over peace, a stare and prosperity for their people.