On Monday morning, the US State Department announced
that they are closing the US Consulate in Jerusalem, which has served
as the main American diplomatic mission to the Palestinians. This amounts to a major downgrade of the diplomatic mission to the Palestinians.
Instead, all future US diplomacy to the Palestinians will be handled by a newly assembled “Palestinian affairs unit,” which will operate out of the US Embassy to Israel, and under the direct command of that embassy.
This move was initially announced in October by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Palestinian officials have said it amounts to the “final nail in the coffin” for the US role in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
Coming amid steady cuts in US aid to the Palestinians, the downgrade to the diplomatic mission suggests that the US are in the process of all but severing ties. This comes ahead of President Trump unveiling a peace plan that US officials have already conceded will be deliberately skewed in Israel’s favor.
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