JERUSALEM (Reuters) – On Saturday, Israel increased its public resistance to President Joe Biden’s administration’s intention to restore a US consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem, arguing that such a mission should be located in the occupied West Bank.

Former President Donald Trump thrilled Israelis while infuriating Palestinians by shutting the Jerusalem consulate and relocating its workers to the U.S. Embassy in Israel, which was relocated to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in 2018.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future state and see the United States’ decision to relocate its embassy as harming that goal. Israel, which took control of East Jerusalem in 1967, refers to Jerusalem as its undivided capital.

In an effort to mend relations with Palestinians, the Biden administration has stated that the consulate would reopen, albeit no timetable has been set.

“My stance, which I expressed to the Americans, is that there is no place in Jerusalem for a US consulate serving Palestinians. We are continually expressing our views in a calm and unobtrusive manner “Naftali Bennett, the Prime Minister, said reporters.

Speaking with Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid recommended reopening the consulate in Ramallah, the de-facto seat of Palestinian governance in the occupied West Bank.

“If they (the US) want to build a consulate in Ramallah, we have no objections,” he stated.

In Ramallah, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesperson disputed Lapid’s remarks.

“We will only accept a US consulate in Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh told Reuters.

The US Embassy’s spokespeople did not immediately respond.

Last month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that Washington will “go on with the process of building a consulate as part of developing those ties with the Palestinians,” while one of his senior staff members also stated that Israel’s rejection of the idea was an impediment. more info

“My understanding (is) that we require the host government’s agreement to operate any diplomatic facility,” Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon said during a Senate hearing on the consulate dispute.

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