US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday that Washington is seeking “as soon as possible” to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem, which is responsible for relations with the Palestinians.
Walla.com said Blinken told Netanyahu during their meeting Tuesday in West Jerusalem.
That the administration of US President Joe Biden is seeking “as soon as possible” to reopen the consulate that was closed by the administration of his predecessor Donald Trump (2017-2021).
The website added that Netanyahu made reservations to Blinken, and did not give a positive response regarding the consulate.
Citing high-ranking Israeli officials, the website reported that Netanyahu said that even if the consulate was reopened.
It is preferable for it to remain attached to the US embassy (to Israel) in Jerusalem, and not to operate as a separate and independent diplomatic mission.
The reopening of the consulate will be an important step in efforts to resume relations between the United States and the Palestinians.
Which was frozen for most of the Trump era, accused of the Palestinians of total bias towards Israel.
Walla stressed that the move to reopen the consulate requires Israel’s approval.
He added that senior US officials believe that the recent tensions in Jerusalem and the crisis in the Gaza Strip have made the reopening of the consulate “more urgent.”
The feeling in the US State Department is that during much of the recent events the administration has been “almost blind.”
The lack of a consulate is monitoring what is happening on the Palestinian side, according to the site.
The consulate was established in Jerusalem in 1844 and has served for more than 25 years as a link with the Palestinian Authority.
In May 2018, the United States moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
In the wake of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, in its eastern and western parts, as the alleged unified capital of Israel, which the Palestinians reject.
The Trump administration also announced the merger of the Consulate General with the US Embassy in Jerusalem, provided that relations with the Palestinians would take place through a special Palestinian affairs unit inside the embassy.
The Palestinians adhere to East Jerusalem as the capital of their hoped-for state, based on international legitimacy decisions.
It does not recognize Israel’s occupation of the city in 1967, nor its annexation in 1981.
Arriving from Jerusalem, Blinken arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday evening, where he held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Blinken began his first visit to the region on Tuesday morning, which includes Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan.
During the recent aggression on the Palestinian territories, the American position sparked widespread criticism inside and outside the United States.
The Biden administration repeatedly declared its support for what it considered “the right of Israel to defend itself,” and agreed to a new arms deal for Tel Aviv.
And at dawn on Friday, a cease-fire began between Israel and the Palestinian factions in Gaza, mediated by Egypt.
After the Israeli military aggression that lasted 11 days on the Strip, where more than two million Palestinians live.
The aggression in Gaza resulted in 254 martyrs, including 66 children, 39 women and 17 elderly, in addition to more than 1948 wounded.
In return, 13 Israelis were killed and hundreds were injured during the response of the factions in Gaza by firing rockets at Israel.