JERUSALEM – The head of the Palestine Liberation Organization said on Wednesday that Guatemala had chosen to be on the wrong side of History following the Central American country’s opening of its new embassy in Jerusalem.
According to a statement by PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat, Guatemala was siding with the violations of international law and human rights with this gesture and taking a hostile step against Palestinians and the Arab world.
“We are not surprised that a president that has objected to UN investigations into corruption and abuses of power has decided to further violate international resolutions,” said Erekat. “Make no mistake, such an insult against the Palestinian people reflects the insult against millions of Central Americans that have struggled for the values of justice and peace.”
“The narrative presented by the Guatemalan government to justify this move also reflects its alliance with the Israeli occupation and right-wing fundamentalists,” the PLO official added.
Erekat pointed out that the “excuse” used by Guatemala to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem contradicted the stances of the Holy See, 13 churches in Jerusalem and several Christian religious leaders worldwide, adding that this fact highlighted the “fundamentalist nature of the Israeli regime and its allies.”
The veteran Palestinian leader warned that the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as well as other allies – including those in Latin America – would take the appropriate measures in response to the move.
The new Guatemalan embassy’s inauguration came just two days after the United States held a lavish dedication ceremony at the site of its future embassy in Jerusalem.
This was the result of a controversial decision by the administration of President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem – a city regarded by the United Nations as partially occupied and illegally annexed by Israel – as Israel’s permanent capital, a move that sparked global outcry and led to massive protests and a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
Monday’s demonstrations at the border fence in Gaza became the deadliest day in years, as Israeli Defense Force soldiers shot live rounds at thousands of protesters, killing at least 60 people – including several children – and injuring more than 2,770.