US opposes settlements, will reopen Palestinian consulate, Blinken tells Abbas

According to PA-controlled news agency, U.S. Secretary of State tells embattled PA leader that the U.S. planning to reopen de facto Palestinian embassy.

By World Israel News Staff

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the Biden administration does not support settlements or the expansion of existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and is “committed” to reopening a U.S. consulate in Jerusalem that serves as a de facto embassy for the Palestinians, according to a new report.

PA-controlled news agency Wafa reported Monday that in a recent phone call, Blinken also told the PA leader that the U.S. is also against the demolition of terrorists’ homes.

According to Wafa, Abbas gave Blinken a litany of complaints about the Jewish state, blaming Israel for everything from a depressed Palestinian economy to prisoner abuse and disrespect for “the historical status in Al-Haram Al-Sharif (the Temple Mount),” presumably by permitting Jews to pray at the site.

Abbas did not mention ongoing Arab terror attacks against Jews in Judea and Samaria as well as in other parts of Israel. Nor did he discuss the ongoing pressure for him to leave office, as some 80 percent of PA residents say they wish he would resign, polls indicate.

Neither did he acknowledge Hamas’ growing influence in Jerusalem and PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.

“Secretary Blinken conveyed President Biden’s greetings to President Abbas and his affirmation of the U.S. commitment to the two-state solution and the importance of creating a political horizon,” read the Wafa summary of the call.

The Biden administration has said that the U.S. plans to reopen the consulate in Jerusalem, which served PA residents, but such a move would need to be approved by the Israeli government. Former President Donald Trump closed the consulate after moving the U.S. Embassy to the Israeli capital.

In September 2021, a delegation of Democrat senators who visited Israel “stressed the importance we place on reopening our consulate in Jerusalem to better serve Palestinians” in a write-up about their trip.

In November 2011, dozens of Israeli protesters gathered in front of the U.S. ambassador’s house to express their opposition to the reopening of the consulate.

“Opening an American consulate in this building, or in any other building in Jerusalem, is like thrusting a knife into the heart of the Jewish People,” one speaker said.

The call between Abbas and Blinken comes after the former’s recent meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, during which the PA leader demanded the release of 25 security prisoners.