Trump Admin Merges Jerusalem Consulate Into U.S. Embassy in Blow to Palestinians

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - MAY 8, 2018: A road sign indicating the direction of the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Sergey Orlov/TASS (Photo by Sergey Orlov\TASS via Getty Images)
Sergey Orlov\TASS via Getty Images

The Times of Israel reports: The State Department announced Thursday that it would bring its main diplomatic mission to the Palestinians under the auspices of the US Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, marking an implicit downgrading of the facility’s status and a fresh blow to its already strained ties with the Palestinians.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the move was meant to “achieve significant efficiencies and increase our effectiveness” following the opening of the embassy in May. He insisted the merger of the two missions did not signal a change in US policy on the status of Jerusalem, the West Bank, or Gaza Strip.

“The United States continues to take no position on final status issues, including boundaries or borders,” Pompeo said in a statement. “The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties.”

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