The US is engaged with plans to revive its de-facto Palestine mission, the State Department proclaimed, which has been met with public opposition from Israel’s top diplomat.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated that re-opening Washington’s Consulate-General in west Jerusalem, which has conventionally functioned as the US’ diplomatic headquarters for Palestine, is a “bad idea.”
Following the public warning, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price announced that the Biden administration “will be moving forward with the process to re-open its consulate in Jerusalem.”
The building, which was built prior to the creation of the State of Israel, was closed by former President Donald Trump in 2019 when he controversially moved the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and recognized the city as Israel’s capital. The consulate’s functions were merged into those of the embassy.
Trump’s actions triggered a widespread backlash among Palestinians and the international community, with the former seeking East Jerusalem as the capital of their state. They have since halted diplomatic contacts with the US, and President Joe Biden has vowed to restore relations with the Palestinians.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in May that the Biden administration would be moving forward with re-opening the consulate.