US Closes Jerusalem Consulate and Downgrades Its Diplomatic Mission to Palestine
The US government has closed its Jerusalem consulate that operated as a de facto embassy to Palestine. While the State Department claims that he decision “does not signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip,” analysts consider it a symbolic move that downgrades the US diplomatic focus on Palestine.
US relations with Palestine have become severely strained since the Trump administration last year took a clear stance on a major point of contention between Israel and Palestine by officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the US embassy to the contested city. In response, Palestinian authorities limited ties with the US. The closure of the Jerusalem consulate is bound to anger Palestine further. When the plan was announced in October of last year, a Palestinian official described it as “the final nail in the coffin” for the US role as a mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.