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US backs down from reopening consulate in occupied East Jerusalem

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]

The United States has backtracked on its pledge to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to reopen its consulate in occupied East Jerusalem, the Times of Israel revealed yesterday.

The Israeli daily said that it has been seven months since the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken notified PA President Mahmoud Abbas of the Biden administration's plan to reopen the US Consulate in Jerusalem. No progress has since been made on the plan.

Reporting a US diplomat and a source familiar with the matter, the paper said the Biden administration has effectively shelved its effort to reopen the mission.

The Times of Israel said that the US position is that it "will move forward with the process of reopening the consulate in Jerusalem," but the three sources confirmed to it that no such process has begun. Officials are now shifting their focus to policies which are more likely to impact day-to-day life for Palestinians.

This is a result of the significant pushback from Israel, which would have to sign off on the move.

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