Jerusalem, Dec 26: Israel’s deputy foreign minister has said her government is “in contact with at least 10 countries” over the potential relocation of their embassies to Jerusalem.
Tzipi Hotovely’s comments came a day after Guatemala announced plans to move its embassy to Jerusalem, following a similar decision by the US earlier this month which sparked widespread international condemnation and mass rallies across the Muslim world. Speaking to state radio, Hotovely did not specify the countries in question but said “some” of them are “in Europe”.
“So far we have only seen the beginning,” she said, adding that US President Donald Trump’s decision would “trigger a wave” of followers.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the main sticking points in efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinian leaders want occupied East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state, while Israel says the city cannot be divided.
Breaking with decades of policy, Trump announced on December 6 that the US recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said his administration would be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.
Currently, there are no embassies in Jerusalem. Following Trump’s announcement, a resounding majority of UN member states – 128 countries – last week voted in favour of a resolution declaring Washington’s move “null and void”.