Report: U.S., PA Hold Talks Over Consulate Branch in East Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of the U.S. Consulate General on Agron Street in central Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Besides reopening a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in western Yerushalayim, the Biden administration is also looking to open a consulate branch in eastern Yerushalayim, Yisrael Hayom reported, quoting sources involved in the matter.

According to the report, Washington has already held talks with Palestinian leaders with regard to this.

The U.S. Consulate used to be located on Derech Shechem Route in eastern Yerushalayim but was moved to the western part of the capital in 2010. The mission operated from there until its closure by former President Donald Trump in 2019.

For years, it assisted the Palestinian Authority in establishing governing bodies and security services and liaised with the Palestinian leadership in east Yerushalayim, Yehudah and Shomron, and the Gaza Strip. It also provided the State Department with information on Israeli building of communities in Yehudah and Shomron, a move Washington opposed for many years, except during the Trump administration.

According to the Al-Quds daily, the Biden administration plans to reopen the consulate – despite pushback from Israel – within the next few weeks.

The move was commended by PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh who expressed hope it would “lay the foundation for a future U.S. Embassy in the Palestinian state.”

According to the Palestinian Media Watch, he also said that by reopening its diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, “the U.S. administration is sending a message that Jerusalem is not a united Israeli city and that it does not recognize the annexation of Arab Jerusalem by the Israeli side.”