Palestinians killed in clashes over Jerusalem status

Palestinians killed in clashes over Jerusalem status

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales drew praise from Israeli officials on Monday for deciding to relocate the Central American country's embassy to Jerusalem, a move in step with US policy in a dispute over the city's status.

In a Facebook post, Mr Morales said the decision was taken after he had spoken with Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

The United States Government has spoken of an impending sanction for Nigeria and other countries that voted against its decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. "Your decision proves that you and your country are true friends of Israel".

Only eight countries stood with the United States in voting no to the resolution held in the UN General Assembly, among them Guatemala and fellow Central American country Honduras.

The Israeli military said thousands of Palestinians participated in "violent riots" along the Gaza border and across the West Bank "hurling firebombs and rocks and rolling burning tires" at Israeli forces.

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It came after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut financial aid to those who backed the resolution.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, writing on Twitter, thanked Morales for what she described as "his courageous decision".

In all, 128 nations voted to maintain the global consensus that Jerusalem's status can only be decided through peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. The global community does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the entire city, home to sites holy to the Muslim, Jewish and Christian religions.

"The US has said something else that is very important: The root of the general conflict in the Middle East does not lie in Israel, but in Iran and in radical Islam and the terrorism that it inspires", Netanyahu said, adding that "these are the true reasons that have been revealed to everyone" and "whoever sees clearly and has integrity can not deny them".