Palestinians furious as US merges authority's diplomatic mission in Jerusalem into Israeli embassy

Posted by On 9:27 AM

Palestinians furious as US merges authority's diplomatic mission in Jerusalem into Israeli embassy

The United States has placed its main diplomatic mission to the Palestinians under the authority of the US embassy in Israel, a downgrade that has sparked uproar among the West Bank leadership.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the consulate general, which is currently a separate office in Jerusalem, would be closed down and replaced by a new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside their embassy which the US controversially moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem earlier this year.

The move would effectively mean the Palestinians are forced to recognise the US†™s decision to label Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It would also make David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, who is hated by Palestinians over his support for Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the main interlocutor with the Palestinian leadership.

It follows a series of decisions by President Donald Trump that the Palestinians say proves the Americans have sided with Israel and are no longer objective mediators.

Mr Pompeo defended the change, saying that it would be more “efficient”.

“This decision is driven by our global efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. It does not signal a change of US policy,” he said.

He added the United States “continues to take no position” on how any peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians would take shape.

This decision has nothing to do with peace. It complicates peace and makes it impossible
Nabil Shaath, adviser to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas

In Israel, the move was celebrated.

Michael Oren, deputy minister for diplomacy and a former Israeli ambassador to the US, said it was “great day for Israel, Jerusalem and the US”.

“Closing the US consulate in Jerusalem and transferring its responsibilities to the embassy ends the last vestige of American support for the city’s division. Israel is deeply grateful.” he wrote on Twitter.

But it sparked fury among the Palestinian leadership that dismissed the decision as part of a plan to “reward” Israel.

Saeb Erekat, Palestinian’s chief negotiator said “It has a lot to do with pleasing an ideological US team that is willing to disband the foundations of American foreign policy, and of the international system, in order to reward Israeli violations and crimes.”

“The Trump administration is part of the problem, not part of the solution,” he added.

Nabil Shaath, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said it was a “very bad decision” that violated past agreements and continued Mr Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Now, he is cutting the last connection he is said to have with the Palestinian people. He is practically saying Jerusalem is for Israel. This decision has nothing to do with peace. It complicates peace and makes it impossible,” he said.

Mr Trump faced international backlash for a December decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognising it as Israel’s capital.

leftCreated with Sketch. rightCreated with Sketch. ShapeCreated with Sketch.Protests erupt after Trump recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital

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Supporters of Difa-e-Pakistan Council a coalition of right wing Islamic parties, burn an effigy of US President Donald Trump, during a protest in Quetta, Pakistan EPA

2/22

Israeli police scuffle with a Palestinian protester outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City Getty

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Palestinian protesters burn pictures of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu following Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City AFP/Getty Images

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Israeli forces disperse Palestinian protesters outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on 7 December 2017 AFP/Getty Images

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Supporters of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), an Islamic organization, chant slogans as they burn Israeli and US flags during a protest against Donald Trump in Peshawar REUTERS

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Palestinians paint an 'X' over the face of a picture of US president Donald J. Trump which was painted on the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem EPA

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Palestinian protestors burn the Israeli flag and a poster of US President Donald Trump in Gaza City AFP/Getty Images

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Supporters of a Pakistani religious party rally against D onald Trump in Lahore AP

9/22

Palestinian protesters burn the US and Israeli flags in Gaza City AFP/Getty Images

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A poster depicting U.S. President Donald Trump is burnt during a protest against Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the West Bank city of Ramallah REUTERS

11/22

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian protester during clashes that followed protests against US President Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Hebron AFP/Getty Images

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Palestinian protesters burn an effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump AP

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Palestinian protesters shout slogans against Donald Trump EPA

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A Palestinian protester wears a Guy Fawkes mask used by the anonymous movement during clashes with Israeli troops in Hebron AFP/Getty Images

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Palestinian demonstrators clash with Isralei troops during protests AFP/Getty Images

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Supporters of a Pakistani religious party chant anti-American slogans during a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan AP

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Pakistanis burn a representation of the U.S. flag during a protest rally in Hyderabad AP

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Young Palestinian women look on as smoke billows from burning tyres as fellow Palestinian demonstrators clash with Isralei troops AFP/Getty

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Protesters burn a picture of U.S. President Donald Trump at a protest in Islamabad REUTERS

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Protestors shouts slogans against US President Donald Trump as they hold Palestinian and Turkish flags during a protest near the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey EPA

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Palestinian protestors put their feet over a picture of US president Donald Trump during a protest in the West Bank City of Nablus EPA

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Pakistani protesters burn tires at an anti-Donald Trump rally in Multan AP

1/22

Supporters of Difa-e-Pakistan Council a coalition of right wing Islamic parties, burn an effigy of US President Donald Trump, during a protest in Quetta, Pakistan EPA

2/22

Israeli police scuffle with a Palestinian protester outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City Getty

3/22

Palestinian protesters burn pictures of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu following Trump&# 039;s decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Gaza City AFP/Getty Images

4/22

Israeli forces disperse Palestinian protesters outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on 7 December 2017 AFP/Getty Images

5/22

Supporters of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), an Islamic organization, chant slogans as they burn Israeli and US flags during a protest against Donald Trump in Peshawar REUTERS

6/22

Palestinians paint an 'X' over the face of a picture of US president Donald J. Trump which was painted on the Israeli separation wall in Bethlehem EPA

7/22

Palestinian protestors burn the Israeli flag and a poster of US President Donald Trump in Gaza City AFP/Getty Images

8/22

Supporters of a Pakistani religious party rally against Donald Trump in Lahore AP

9/22

Palestinian protesters burn the US and Israeli flags in Gaza City AFP/Getty Images

10/22

A poster depicting U.S. President Donald Trump is burnt during a protest against Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in the West Bank city of Ramallah REUTERS

11/22

Israeli forces detain a Palestinian protester during cla shes that followed protests against US President Donald Trump recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in Hebron AFP/Getty Images

12/22

Palestinian protesters burn an effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump AP

13/22

Palestinian protesters shout slogans against Donald Trump EPA

14/22

A Palestinian p rotester wears a Guy Fawkes mask used by the anonymous movement during clashes with Israeli troops in Hebron AFP/Getty Images

15/22

Palestinian demonstrators clash with Isralei troops during protests AFP/Getty Images

16/22

Supporters of a Pakistani religious party chant anti-American slogans during a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan AP

17/22

Pakistanis burn a representation of the U.S. flag during a protest rally in Hyderabad AP

18/22

Young Palestinian women look on as smoke billows from burning tyres as fellow Palestinian demonstrators clash with Isralei troops AFP/Getty

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Protesters burn a picture of U.S. President Donald Trump at a protest in Islamabad REUTERS

20/22

Protestors shouts slogans against US President Donald Trump as they hold Palestinian and Turkish flags during a protest near the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey EPA

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Palestinian protestors put their feet over a picture of US president Donald Trump during a protest in the West Bank City of Nablus EPA

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Pakistani protesters burn tires at an anti-Donald Trump rally in Multan AP

The contested city is claimed by both the Palestinians and Israelis. Most of the international community, including the United Kingdom and the United Nations, believe its status should be decided by both sides in a final peace agreement.

Shortly afterwards, Mr Trump slashed and then ultimately ended US funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, as well as most of the country’s bilateral assistance to the Palestinians, leaving a massive funding shortfall.

It comes amid mounting tensions between Israel and Gaza over months of protests and clashes at the borders. Over 180 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, who have defended their actions, saying th e protesters had been attacking the border fence and flying incendiary kites at Israel.

Peace talks spluttered to a halt in 2014.

Source: Google News Israel | Netizen 24 Israel

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