The State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Biden administration will be moving forward with the process to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem, The Times of Israel newspaper reports.
The US is moving ahead with plans to reopen its de facto Palestine mission, the State Department announced Wednesday, despite very public opposition from Israel’s top diplomat.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said earlier Wednesday that reopening Washington’s consulate general in west Jerusalem, which has traditionally served as the US’s diplomatic headquarters for the Palestinians, isn’t a good idea.
“We think it’s a bad idea, and we’ve told America we think it’s a bad idea,” Israeli’s top diplomat said in a statement.
The move, he said, “will send the wrong message, not only to the region, not only to the Palestinians, but also to other countries, and we don’t want this to happen.”
The US insists on reopening its consulate in East Jerusalem
The building was closed by former President Donald Trump in 2019 when he moved the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Thus, the contested city was considered as state Israel’s capital. Additionally, the consulate’s functions were folded into those of the embassy.
Americans preferred to ignore a backlash among Palestinians who are seeking East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. They have since halted diplomatic contacts with the US, and President Biden has vowed to restore relations with the Palestinians.
Secretary of State Blinken announced in May that the Biden administration would be moving forward with reopening the consulate.