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Israel rejects US plan to reopen consulate in occupied Jerusalem

UN Ambassador to Israel Gilad Erdan in Jerusalem on 11 December 2018 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]
UN Ambassador to Israel Gilad Erdan in Jerusalem on 11 December 2018 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]

The Israeli occupation authorities rejected on Wednesday the US plan to reopen its consulate in East Jerusalem, local media have reported.

Israel's Ambassador in Washington, Gilad Erdan, said that the government firmly opposes the move to reopen the consulate catering for the Palestinians within what he described as Israel's "sovereign territory".

According to the Jerusalem Post, the issue was raised during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday. That was the day when Blinken announced the decision to reopen the consulate which has historically served as an office in charge of diplomatic relations with Palestine.

The announcement followed a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah as part of an official visit to the occupied Palestinian territories. Erdan said that the issue would not cause a crisis between Washington and Tel Aviv.

In 2018, the administration of former US President Donald Trump closed the consulate in East Jerusalem after it recognised Jerusalem as Israel's "united" capital. The settler-colonial state's annexation of Jerusalem, not just its occupation of East Jerusalem, remains illegal under international law.

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