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Israeli official says reopening of US Palestinian mission in Jerusalem may not happen

A picture taken on February 24, 2018, shows the US flag flying over the US consulate building complex in Jerusalem, which is considered one of the options to host the new US embassy headquarters after its relocation from Tel Aviv. The United States will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018 to coincide with Israel's 70th Independence Day according to US officials. / AFP PHOTO / AHMAD GHARABLI (Photo credit should read AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)
A picture taken on February 24, 2018, shows the US flag flying over the US consulate building complex in Jerusalem [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel's deputy foreign minister said on Sunday that the Biden administration may shelve its plan to reopen a US diplomatic mission for Palestinians in Jerusalem after Israel voiced opposition to such a move, according to a report by Reuters.

The Jerusalem consulate was subsumed into the US Embassy that was moved to the contested city from Tel Aviv in 2018 by the administration of former President Donald Trump – a reversal of US policy hailed by Israel and condemned by Palestinians.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this month reiterated Washington's plan to reopen the consulate as part of efforts to repair Palestinian ties. He did not give timelines.

"I believe that I have good reason to think this will not happen," Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll told Israel's Ynet TV.

Report: Israeli foreign minister misled Blinken on US consulate in Jerusalem

"The Americans understand the political complexity," Roll said, adding:

We have very good relations … We don't believe in surprising them. I don't think they will try to surprise us.

US Embassy spokespeople could not immediately be reached for comment

Israel deems all Jerusalem its undivided capital and says it would not consent to reopening the consulate. The Palestinians want the city's east for their own future, hoped-for state.

Reopening the consulate could weaken nationalist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and undermine his fragile cross-partisan government, Israeli officials have argued.

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