About-face: Washington set on reopening consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem

“US insists it’s committed to reopening consulate after officials tell ToI otherwise,” said the Times of Israel headline.

By World Israel News Staff

Contrary to earlier reports, the Biden administration remains committed to re-opening a U.S. consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

The move reverses the policy of former President Donald Trump, who moved the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, closed the American consulate in Jerusalem and incorporated its services and management of Palestinian affairs under the embassy’s rubric.

“There are a number of steps that have to go into the reopening of any diplomatic facility. As you know, there are some shall we say unique sensitivities to this particular facility,” Price told a news briefing, rejecting any suggestion the consulate plan had been shelved, according to Reuters.

“We are working through the issue with our Palestinian and Israeli partners,” he said.

Citing unidentified U.S. and Palestinian officials, Times of Israel reported Sunday that Washington was planning to appoint State Department diplomat Hady Amr as a special envoy to the Palestinians. Currently, Amr is serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs.

The report added that President Joe Biden had officially decided to shelve the reopening of an eastern Jerusalem consulate for Palestinians, despite a pledge to do so when he took office in November 2020.

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“US insists it’s committed to reopening consulate after officials tell ToI otherwise,” said the Times of Israel headline Tuesday evening.

Asked about the report on Tuesday, Price said he had no personnel announcements to make, according to Reuters.