Israel Warns US Against Plan to Reopen Jerusalem Consulate | Israeli-Palestinian conflict News
A Palestinian official dismisses the warning, says Israel is trying to block any political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel said the US plan to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem was a “bad idea” and could destabilize the government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The previous administration of US President Donald Trump has shown support for Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as the capital by moving the US embassy to Tel Aviv and shutting down the consulate, which has traditionally been a base for diplomatic contacts with the Palestinians.
It is one of the many measures taken by the Trump administration that has infuriated the Palestinian leadership, who wants East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state.
President Joe Biden is committed to restoring ties between the United States and the Palestinians and supporting a two-state solution. In May, Secretary of State Antony Blinked announced that the United States would reopen the consulate, closed since 2019.
The consulate, located in occupied East Jerusalem, has long served as a stand-alone office that oversaw diplomatic relations with the Palestinians.
“We think this is a bad idea,” Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told a press conference on Wednesday when asked about the reopening. “Jerusalem is the sovereign capital of Israel and Israel alone, and therefore, we don’t think this is a good idea.
“We know that the [Biden] the administration has a different way of looking at it, but as it is in Israel, we are sure that they are listening to us very carefully.
Wasel Abu Youssef, an official with the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Israel was trying to maintain the status quo and block any political solution.
The US Embassy did not immediately comment.
Israel views all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital – a status unrecognized internationally.
He captured the eastern part of the city, as well as the West Bank and Gaza, in the 1967 Middle East War and has occupied the territories ever since.
Bennett, a nationalist at the top of a multi-party coalition, opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. Reopening the consulate could destabilize the Bennett government, which ended the longtime tenure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in June, Lapid said.
“We have an interesting and yet delicate structure of our government and we think it could destabilize this government and I don’t think the US administration wants this to happen,” he said.
Divisions among the Palestinians also cast doubt on the prospects for diplomacy, Lapid said. “I am a strong supporter of the two-state solution… but we will have to admit that it is not doable in the current situation.