Washington, MINA – The US State Department announced on Wednesday that the US is moving forward with plans to reopen the de facto Palestinian mission despite overwhelming Israeli opposition.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said earlier that reopening Washington’s consulate general in west Jerusalem, which has traditionally served as the US diplomatic headquarters for the Palestinians, was a bad idea.
“We think it’s a bad idea, and we’ve told America that we think it’s a bad idea,” Lapid said in a statement quoted by The Times of Israel newspaper.
Such a move, he said, would send the wrong message, not only to the region, not only to Palestine, but also to other countries, and Israel does not want this to happen.
Following the warning, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration would move forward with the process of reopening its consulate in Jerusalem.
The consulate building, which was built before the creation of the state of Israel, was closed by former President Donald Trump in 2019 when he moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the contested city as Israel’s capital.
The function of the consulate was then transferred to the function of the embassy.
Trump’s actions sparked widespread backlash among Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
They have since cut off diplomatic contacts with the US, and President Joe Biden vowed to restore relations with the Palestinians.
Foreign Minister Antony Blinken announced in May that the Biden government would move forward with reopening the consulate. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)