US President Joe Biden reportedly rejected a proposal by Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett that would have seen Washington re-establish its Palestinian diplomatic mission in a location beyond the flashpoint city of Jerusalem.
During last month’s bilateral meeting at the White House, Bennett had apparently suggested that the US consulate – which had served as America’s de facto embassy to the Palestinians until it was shut down in 2019 by former President Donald Trump – be reopened on the outskirts of Ramallah in the West Bank or the town of Abu Dis to the east of Jerusalem.
Biden was not interested in the idea, the Times of Israel reported on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, other reports emerged that Biden had repeatedly raised the issue during the meeting and stressed that he had made a campaign pledge to reopen the consulate in Jerusalem.
When Trump shifted the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the consulate for Palestinians was incorporated into the embassy as the Palestinian Affairs Unit. The move angered Palestinians, who view East Jerusalem as the capital of a potential future Palestinian state.