Middle East/North Africa

Israeli official says plans to reopen US mission for Palestinians maybe shelved

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll said on Sunday that a U.S diplomatic mission for Palestinians in Jerusalem may not happen after Israel spoke out against it. 

“I believe that I have good reason to think this will not happen,” Roll said on Israel’s Ynet TV, according to Reuters.

“The Americans understand the political complexity,” he added said. “We have very good relations … We don’t believe in surprising them. I don’t think they will try to surprise us.”

In May, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the U.S. would be reopening its consulate general in Jerusalem to restore Palestinian ties that had been downgraded under former President Trump.

“We are discussing the re-opening of our Consulate General in Jerusalem to strengthen our ability to engage the Palestinian people and execute our assistance, public diplomacy, and diplomatic reporting,” the State Department said at the time.

As Reuters noted, Blinken recently reiterated these plans to restore Palestinian relations though he did not give a timeline for the process.

Earlier in September, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who formed a new Israeli government that ousted Benjamin Netanyahu, said Israel was opposed to U.S. plans of reopening its consulate general.

“We think it’s a bad idea,” Lapid said. “Jerusalem is the sovereign capital of Israel and Israel alone, and therefore we don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“We know that the [Biden] administration has a different way of looking at this, but since it is happening in Israel, we are sure they are listening to us very carefully,” he added.

Tags Antony Blinken Antony Blinken Benjamin Netanyahu Benjamin Netanyahu Donald Trump Israel Israel–United States relations Jerusalem Palestine Palestine–United States relations Yair Lapid

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