Trump administration combining Palestinian mission, Israeli embassy next month: report

The Trump administration will reportedly merge the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, the diplomatic office that serves Palestinians, with the U.S. Embassy in Israel early next month.

The consulate and embassy will be merged March 4 or March 5, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed U.S. official.

Plans to merge the offices were announced in October by Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump faces high stakes in meeting with Erdoğan amid impeachment drama Democrats warn State Dept against punishing individuals who testify in impeachment hearings Pompeo condemns 'deplorable' killings of Iraqi protesters MORE, though the exact date of the merger was not yet clear.

The Trump administration had moved the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem last May, putting it in the same city as the U.S. Consulate General.

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"The Administration is strongly committed to achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future to Israel and the Palestinians," Pompeo said at the time. "We look forward to continued partnership and dialogue with the Palestinian people and, we hope in the future, with the Palestinian leadership."

Pompeo also said the move was being made in an effort to improve efficiency. 

But the decision was met with disapproval from the Palestinian Liberation Organization, which said that the move had "nothing to do with 'efficiency.'"

"This decision has nothing to do with 'efficiency' and a lot to do with pleasing an ideological US team that is willing to disband the foundations of US Foreign Policy, and of the international system, in order to reward Israeli violations and crimes," the group said at the time.