Ramallah: Palestine has condemned Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s rejection to the reopening of the US consulate in East Jerusalem.
“There is no place for an American consulate serving the Palestinians in Jerusalem,” Bennett said on Saturday evening.
In response, Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh on Sunday said Bennett’s remarks “are a new challenge to Biden’s administration which has repeatedly announced its intention to reopen the consulate in East Jerusalem.”
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Bennett’s remarks “are a blatant challenge to the decisions and policies of the US government.”
In May 2018, the United States moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and in October of the same year, former US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo merged the country’s consulate in East Jerusalem with its embassy in the city, Xinhua news agency reported.
The consulate shut down and stopped providing services for the Palestinians in March 2019.
In May 2021, incumbent US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Washington intends to reopen its consulate in East Jerusalem and to resume its financial aid to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).