US merges embassy with consulate serving the PA into a single mission in Jerusalem
The United States will merge the US Consulate General, which serves the Palestinian Authority, with its new embassy in Israel into a single diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday.
“This decision is driven by our global efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations,” Pompeo said in a statement.
Pompeo added that it does not signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria or Gaza.
Pompeo said the United States will establish a new Palestinian Authority Affairs Unit inside the embassy in Jerusalem to continue reporting, outreach and programming in Judea, Samaria and Gaza as well as with Arabs in Jerusalem.
For years, the consulate has served as a de facto embassy to the Palestinian Authority, reporting straight to the State Department in Washington. Placing it under the authority of the embassy could be seen as suggesting American recognition of Israeli control over east Jerusalem and Judea-Samaria.
The Palestinian Authority cut ties with the US after President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel last year and moved the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.