Jerusalem Consulate to Be Opened by U.S.

by Jan Frazier

Jerusalem, Israel (Washington Insider Magazine)  It was announced on Tuesday by Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, that the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem would be reopened. Hopefully, this will restore ties with the Palestinians, which were downgraded by Donald Trump.

The Palestinians had used the U.S. Consulate as “an autonomous office in charge of diplomatic relations.” However, when the embassy was moved to Jerusalem during the Trump administration, Trump put the consulate “under the authority of his ambassador to Israel.” The Palestinians were degraded by this move.

A precise date to reopen the consulate was not given by Blinken. However, Blinken did meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, which is in the occupied West Bank.

Blinken did claim that he wanted the Palestinian Authority as well as the Palestinian people to know of the commitment of the United States “to rebuilding the relationship” with the Palestinians. The relationship that they had had was “built on mutual respect and also a shared conviction that Palestinians and Israelis alike deserve equal measures of security, freedom, opportunity, and dignity.”

Blinken went to the Palestinian region to “shore up the cease-fire” which was adopted and which ended the “11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas’ rulers.” More than 250 Palestinians were killed during the war. The coastal area – already impoverished – felt widely spread destruction.

Blinken promised to “rally international support” in hopes of helping the people of Gaza. He later announced that the U.S. was sending “nearly $40 million in aid to the Palestinians, including $4.4 million in emergency assistance for Gaza.” The U.S. – under the Biden administration — is now helping the Palestinians with over $360 million. Under the Trump administration, nearly all funds had been destroyed.

No assistance will reach the hands of the Humas, which both “Israel and the U.S. consider a terrorist organization.”

The U.S. is attempting to help Abbas, “who was sidelined by recent events in his rivalry with Hamas.” Abbas actually “heads the internationally backed Palestinian Authority.” When Hamas got power in Gaza in 2007, they took over parts of the West Bank.

There was a truce on Friday to end the Gaza war; however, this truce did not “address any of the underlying issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” and it is said that the truce is tenuous “since tensions are still high in Jerusalem.”

SOURCE

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