by Nadav Shragai
Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh expresses hope that the move will "lay the foundation for a future US embassy in the Palestinian state."
|The building that used to house the US mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem | File photo: Oren Ben Hakoon|
Besides reopening a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in west Jerusalem, the Biden administration is also looking to open a consulate branch in east Jerusalem, Israel Hayom found out Wednesday from sources involved in the matter.
According to reports, Washington has already held talks with Palestinian leaders with regard to this.
The US consulate used to be located on Nablus Road in east Jerusalem but was moved to the western part of the capital in 2010. The mission operated from there until its closure by former US 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 Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza Strip. It also provided the US State Department with information on Israeli building of settlements in Judea and Samaria, a move Washington opposed for many years, except during the Trump administration.
According to 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 US embassy in the Palestinian state."
According to the Palestinian Media Watch, he also said that by reopening its diplomatic mission to the Palestinians "the US 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."