Biden rejects Bennett's plan to reopen consulate in Abu Dis

Biden rejected Bennett's plan to reopen Palestinian consulate in Abu Dis, Ramallah: report
2 min read
29 September, 2021
Naftali Bennett asked US President Joe Biden to move the Palestinian consulate to Ramallah or Abu Dis in an attempt to stop Washington from re-opening its mission inside occupied East Jerusalem
Naftali Bennett met Joe Biden in August [Getty]

The US expressed disinterest at an Israeli proposal to reopen a Palestinian consulate in Ramallah or Abu Dis instead of in occupied East Jerusalem, sources close to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told local media. 

Bennett proposed to US President Joe Biden that the US consulate be reopened on the outskirts of Ramallah or in the West Bank town of Abu Dis, located on the outskirts of East Jerusalem, sources close to the Israeli premier told Zman Yisrael.

In 2017, former US President Donald Trump took the first steps to action in the so-called "Deal of the Century" which declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and gave it a green light to annex most West Bank settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, as well as the strategic Jordan Valley.

Upon moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, the US closed its consulate there. The consulate, which had acted as a de facto US mission to Palestine, was merged into a Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the Israeli embassy.

The move angered the international community and Palestinians who regarded the deal as a block to their pending statehood.

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The Biden administration wants to reverse the decision and reopen the consulate in Jerusalem as a separate entity, something which Israeli officials have campaigned against.

Bennett recently told settler leaders that he lobbied Biden against the decision to reopen the US consulate in occupied East Jerusalem during their discussions at the White House in August.

"I told Biden 'no' three times,” he said during the 9 September meeting with leaders of the Yesha Council settlement umbrella group, sources present told Zman Yisrael.

Instead, he suggested that the administration open the Palestinian mission in Ramallah or Abu Dis.