In major downgrade for Palestinian mission, United States folds Jerusalem Consulate into Embassy

In major downgrade for Palestinian mission, United States folds Jerusalem Consulate into Embassy

In major downgrade for Palestinian mission, United States folds Jerusalem Consulate into Embassy

Blue and White says it sees "united" Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a reference to the entire city, including the eastern sector that the Palestinians want as the capital as their future state.

The move, following a decision announced in October, closes the US Jerusalem consulate general that had acted independently and served as a de-facto embassy to the Palestinians since the Oslo accords of the 1990s.

The move also fueled suspicions that the US was recognizing Israeli control over east Jerusalem and the West Bank, territories that Palestinians seek for a future state.

US President Donald Trump outraged the Arab world and stoked global criticism by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December 2017 and moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv last May.

Pressed on this, Lapid told Israel's Ynet TV: "I believe that, in separating from the Palestinians, we will ultimately arrive at two states".

But, as the State Department said, the move changes nothing and said the "efficiency and effectiveness" of its critical work helping all in Israel will be enhanced by a larger team of diplomats.

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A worker hangs a road sign directing to the USA embassy, in the area of the US consulate in Jerusalem, May 7, 2018.

According to Moscow-based "UrduPoint News", the conference was held in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Sunday and Monday under the motto "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine" and involved speakers of parliaments of 16 Arab states as well as several representatives of other countries' parliaments. "The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties".

US -sponsored talks between the Palestinians and Israel collapsed in 2014 over the latter's refusal to halt settlement building in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Closing the Consulate is a setback for peace between Israelis and Palestinians and a major error by this Administration.

The Palestinian health ministry said that the two killed were identified as Amir Darraj and Yousef Anqawi, both 20 years old. It has cut funding to the United Nations agency that provides aid to Palestinians classified as refugees.

Since 1967, Israel has built a dozen settlements, home to about 200,000 Jews, in East Jerusalem.

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement that the move was "not an administrative decision". And we've seen ties between the USA and Palestinians deteriorate.

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