The Trump administration announced it will merge the Jerusalem Consulate responsible for relations with the Palestinian Authority into its newly relocated U.S. Embassy.
The consulate in Jerusalem has functioned essentially as an embassy to the Palestinian Authority and was separate from the operations of the U.S. Embassy. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the consulate closure was aimed at efficiency and wasn’t a policy change. He said a newly created Palestinian Affairs unit will operate out of the old consulate building, conducting reporting, outreach and programming with Palestinians in the so-called West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.
In all countries around the world, U.S. consulates work under the U.S. Embassy and consular generals report to the U.S. ambassador of the country. Yet, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and U.S. Embassy had no connection with the Jerusalem Consulate, which in the past allowed the State Department to implement an independent policy directly with the Palestinian Authority. However, that now has changed since President Trump has moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. The U.S. Consular General in Jerusalem must now report to Ambassador Friedman and not directly with the State Department. This arrangement merely fueled Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda.
“This is welcome news that President Trump and his administration have taken steps to no longer tolerate the Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda. Merging the Jerusalem Consulate with the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem is the right step. The prior U.S. policy treated Israel less than an intendent sovereign nation. President Trump has righted this wrong,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel and Chairman of Christians in Defense of Israel. “The Palestinian Authority does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and has no interest in peace. It is appropriate that the Palestinian Authority must now be accountable and directly report to U.S. Embassy and the Ambassador in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel,” said Staver.
Source: Liberty Counsel
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