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Thursday, June 08 2023

Israeli PM against reopening of US consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem

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Tel Aviv: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that he was against the possible reopening of a US consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Bennett spoke at a press conference in Jerusalem a day after the Israeli Parliament passed the annual budget for 2022, reports Xinhua news agency.

“There is no room for another consulate in Jerusalem,” the Prime Minister said he told the US administration.

US State Department Spokesman Ned Price said at a news briefing last week that Washington had “been very clear” about its intentions to reopen the consulate for Palestinians.

Up until 2018, the US had two consulates in Jerusalem, one for Palestinians and one for Israelis.

After former US President Donald Trump “recognised the city as the capital of Israel”, the two consulates were merged and housed in a new embassy.

Relations between the US and the Palestinians soured during the Trump administration.

After US President Joe Biden entered the White House in January this year, he made several moves to improve relations with the Palestinians. One of the steps was the decision to re-open the consulate in Jerusalem for Palestinians.

Jerusalem, which hosts sites holy to Judaism, Islam and Christianity, is the most explosive subject in the decades-old Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

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