Politics

Palestine slams Israel for refusal to reopen US consulate in Jerusalem


Israel, as the occupying power, does not have the right to veto the US administration’s decision to reopen its consulate in the city, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said.

The reopening could help mend US ties with the Palestinians ruptured under former US President Donald Trump.
The reopening could help mend US ties with the Palestinians ruptured under former US President Donald Trump.
(Reuters)

The Palestinians on Sunday slammed Israel for rejecting the promised reopening of the US consulate in the occupied East Jerusalem, a move that would restore Washington’s main diplomatic mission for the Palestinians in the city.

In a statement on Sunday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it views the reopening of the consulate as part of the international community’s commitments to ending Israel’s decades-long occupation of territories of the Palestinians.

“East Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the occupied Palestinian territory and is the capital of the state of Palestine. Israel, as the occupying power, does not have the right to veto the US administration’s decision,” the statement said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said late Saturday there was no room in Jerusalem for another American mission.

Asked about the consulate at a press conference, Bennett repeated Israel’s position on Jerusalem.

“There’s no room for another American consulate in Jerusalem,” he said. “Jerusalem is the capital of one state and that’s the state of Israel.” 

READ MORE: Israel’s new plan: Build a ring of settlements and go deeper into Palestine

US pledge to reopen consulate

The Trump administration shuttered the US Jerusalem consulate, an office that for years served as the de facto embassy to the Palestinians. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has pledged to reopen it, in a move that could help mend US ties with the Palestinians ruptured under Trump.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid suggested the consulate could instead be opened in the Palestinian administrative center in Ramallah, West Bank. 

The Palestinians reject the idea because it would undermine their claims to Jerusalem.

The Palestinians seek the eastern part of the city, which Israel occupied in 1967 and later annexed, as capital of their hoped-for state.

READ MORE: Israel approves more than 1,300 settlement homes in occupied West Bank

Trump had downgraded the consulate’s operations and placed them under his ambassador to Israel when he moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city in 2018. 

The embassy move infuriated the Palestinians and led them to sever most ties with the Trump administration.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies



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