Israel rejects plan for US Consulate in East Jerusalem

Written by Staff Writer Israel doubled down on its rejection of plans for a U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem, saying there is “no room” for one. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem currently operates…

Israel rejects plan for US Consulate in East Jerusalem

Written by Staff Writer

Israel doubled down on its rejection of plans for a U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem, saying there is “no room” for one.

The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem currently operates with temporary location throughout Israel, including in the disputed city of Hebron.

A ‘Postmortem’ exercise done by the US State Department in 2016 found that Americans in West Jerusalem make up a “low proportion” of those visiting Israel and are often mistaken as being from abroad.

Responding to a suggestion by Jerusalem’s mayor who wants to open an outpost of the consulate at the Jerusalem port, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Nadav Argaman said in a statement: “This move is outrageous, especially given the fact that every week approximately 150,000 Palestinians visit Israel in order to reach checkpoints across the city, visit family in East Jerusalem, visit the holy sites in the Old City and in the West Bank, and live, work and study in Israel.

“It is time for Americans to stop aiding these Palestinians by determining where they go for answers to their simple questions.”

The deputy head of the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic mission in Washington, Ambassador Abdel Rahman Abu Said, told CNN that, “Jerusalem, as usual, was behind the events.”

He continued: “According to our foreign ministry, the decision to open a Consulate (in Jerusalem) was an important step that would allow the Trump administration to continue its illegal and deplorable policy of escalating pressure on the Palestinian people and, of course, this decision will probably be followed with the opening of an embassy to Jerusalem, whose timing is determined by the same policy of the US administration.”

“East Jerusalem is part of our sovereign state, occupied in the illegal 1967 war, and (the move) is a continuous political and economic move that would sabotage the peace process,” Abu Said added.

CNN

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