Israel reiterates against US, says there is no place for US consulate in Jerusalem for Palestinians

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“We will proceed with the process of opening a consulate as part of deepening those ties Palestinians,” Blinken said at the State Department.

Less than a month later, Israel’s political leadership was also clear: it had no plans to approve such a consulate (the host country would have to approve any new foreign consulates).

Asked by CNN about US intentions at a news conference Saturday evening, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said his government had presented its opinion “clearly and openly” to Americans.

Bennett stood beside the Secretary of State, saying, “There is no room for another US consulate in Jerusalem. We always present our position quietly without drama and we hope to understand it. Jerusalem is a state capital.” And that is the State of Israel.” yair lapido and Finance Minister Avigdor Lieberman. “I’m sure our American friends and we will continue to collaborate on a long list of great things.”

Lapid, who sat next to Blinken in Washington last month, echoed Bennett’s sentiments, and said that if Americans wanted to open a consulate for Palestinians in Ramallah, they would be welcome to do so.

Lapid said, “As far as the (US) consulate is concerned, as we both said it is not about politics and political stability. It is the State of Israel that is denying in principle that Jerusalem A consulate should be opened in

former President Donald Trump The consulate folded in 2019, relocating it from Tel Aviv and merging into the new US embassy in Jerusalem when the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. For many Palestinians, a US consulate in Jerusalem is a harbinger that they will one day have a US embassy in East Jerusalem, the capital of a possible future state of Palestine.
Americans have been seen shying away from major confrontations with Israel over issues such as the expansion of consulates or Jewish settlements in the West Bank as a way to help shore up the stability of the coalition government. Stitched together from a diverse group of eight parties representing a broad spectrum of ideologies, the government came to power in June, agreeing on few subjects except the desire to remove the former prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu After 12 years in power.

Passing a new state budget last weekend – which had not been completed since 2018, which led to Israel’s record four elections in two years – puts the government on more stable ground (since it has until November 14 to do so). failure would have triggered new elections). Now that some world partners, including European diplomats such as Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, have made it clear that the new government looks more secure, it is time to begin pushing Israel more heavily on issues relating to the Palestinians.

“I think both the EU and the US have been very cautious about any criticism of this new Israeli government because it is a fragile government,” Coveney told CNN’s Becky Anderson on Thursday.

But with the budget passed, and Israel’s government looking set, “both Washington and the European Union now need to focus on their relationship with this new Israeli government, and they must make it clear that if we are to make peace.” We are serious about providing a simultaneous process, well, so expanding settlements is not only illegal, but it is also unacceptable to the international community,” he said.

Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the Palestinian Authority for Civil Affairs, said in a tweet Bennett’s statements about the consulate in Jerusalem on Sunday represent a “challenge to the #Biden administration from the Israeli government” as it has “repeatedly announced its decision to open the US consulate in East Jerusalem!! !”

While the new Israeli government’s mantra in its relationship with the United States has been “no drama”, especially when it comes to the possible withdrawal of the Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration has recently criticized the Israeli government on issues relating to the Palestinians. openly criticized. , Israel’s recent announcement to give the green light to thousands of new Israeli housing units in the West Bank has been criticized by the State Department, whose spokesman Ned Price calls it “complete with efforts to de-escalate tensions and ensure calm.” inconsistent”.

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Israel’s move to label six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations, accusing them of working with the designated terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, also attracted some sharp words from Europeans and Americans. did.

“We believe that respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are vital to responsible and accountable governance,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at the time.

But on Saturday, when asked if his government was heading for a confrontation and tensions with Americans have risen, now that the budget has been passed, Bennett simply said, “No.”

“We agree with American friends on a lot more than we disagree on,” the prime minister said, adding, “I’m sure our American friends and we will continue to collaborate on a long list of big things.”

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