Paraguay president inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he stands next to Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes at Netanyahu's office Monday. Reuters
Updated 22 May 2018

Paraguay president inaugurates embassy in Jerusalem

  • Israeli forces killed nearly 60 Palestinians in clashes along the border
  • Several European countries summoning the Israeli ambassadors to their foreign ministries for questioning

JERUSALEM: Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes inaugurated his country’s Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, making it the third nation to make the deeply controversial move after the US and Guatemala.
Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at the inauguration of the new embassy in a Jerusalem office park.
The Paraguayan leader called it a “historic event.”
“This act has profound significance in the sense that it expresses Paraguay’s sincere friendship and full solidarity with Israel,” he said.
Netanyahu said cooperation between the two countries would become “greater,” naming areas such as agriculture, security and technology.

The South American nation of some seven million people follows in the footsteps of the US which broke with decades of international consensus when it declared Jerusalem Israel’s capital in December.
Washington followed up on the declaration by moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14.
The US Embassy opening was accompanied by mass protests and clashes along the Gaza border that saw 62 Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire.
Israel has sought to persuade other countries to follow the White House move, but so far only Paraguay and Guatemala have done so.

Guatemala opened its new embassy in the same Jerusalem office park as Paraguay’s on May 16.
Jerusalem’s status is perhaps the thorniest issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967 and later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.

Iran vows to keep military forces in Syria despite Israeli threats

Updated 17 January 2019

Iran vows to keep military forces in Syria despite Israeli threats

  • Israel says it has carried out more than 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria in the last two years
  • Iran's Revolutionary Guards’ top commander called Israeli PM Netanyahu’s threats “a joke”

LONDON: Iran will keep military forces in Syria, the head of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday, defying Israeli threats that they might be targeted if they do not leave the country.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that Israeli forces would continue to attack Iranians in Syria and warned them “to get out of there fast, because we will continue with our resolute policy.”

Rebuffing the threats, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Revolutionary Guards’ top commander, was quoted as saying by the semi-official ISNA news agency that “the Islamic Republic of Iran will keep all its military and revolutionary advisers and its weapons in Syria.”

Jafari called Netanyahu’s threats “a joke,” and warned that the Israeli government “was playing with (a) lion’s tail.”

“You should be afraid of the day that our precision-guided missiles roar and fall on your head,” he said.

Iran and Russia have both backed Syria’s Bashar Assad in a seven-year war against opposition and militants, and have sent thousands of soldiers to the country.

Israel, increasingly concerned that its enemy Iran may establish a long-term military presence in neighboring Syria, says it has carried out more than 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria in the last two years.

Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israeli warplanes carried out an attack on what he called an Iranian arms cache in Syria.