MIDDLE EAST

Guatemala opens embassy in Jerusalem

GUATEMALA OPENS EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM

Guatemala on Wednesday opened its embassy in Jerusalem, becoming the second country to open a diplomatic mission in the holy city after the United States.

The opening ceremony was attended by Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu along with a host of officials from both countries.

Washington relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Monday, in a move that triggered world outcry.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Palestine-Israel conflict, with Palestinians seeking East Jerusalem -- occupied by Israel since 1967 -- as the capital of an independent Palestinian state.

Monday's embassy opening coincided with the death of at least 62 Palestinians by Israeli gunfire during protests against the embassy relocation and rallies marking the Nakba anniversary, which commemorates the eviction of thousands of Palestinians from their homes to make way for the state of Israel in 1948.

Turkey has responded to the violence by asking the Israeli ambassador to leave the country, while also recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Israel "for consultations".

Since the Gaza rallies kicked off on March 30, scores of Palestinian demonstrators have been killed -- and thousands injured -- by Israeli troops deployed along the other side of the border.

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