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President Closes Jerusalem Consulate


By —— Bio and Archives--October 23, 2018

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TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - 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 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, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and the U.S. Embassy had no connection with the Jerusalem Consulate so the State Department could 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 is welcome news that President Trump and his administration have taken steps to no longer tolerate the Palestinian anti-Israel propaganda by closing the Jerusalem Consulate,” said Mat Staver, Chairman of Liberty Counsel, and President 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. Ambassador to Israel Freidman,” said Staver


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