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October 28, 2021 9:00 am
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US State Dept: Israel Must Consent for Consulate to Reopen

avatar by i24 News

An American flag flutters at the premises of the former United States Consulate General in Jerusalem, March 4, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

i24 News – A senior official in the US State Department told senators that Israeli consent would be required to reopen the US consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem.

Brian McKeon, US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

Senator Bill Hagerty — who proposed a bill earlier this week to block the consulate from opening — asked McKeon about the reopening of that consulate.

“I just want to confirm something, on the record — is it your understanding that under US and international law the government of Israel would have to provide its affirmative consent before the United States could open or reopen the US consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem?” Hagerty asked McKeon.

“Or does the Biden administration believe it can move forward to establish a second US mission in the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem without the consent of the government in Israel?”

McKeon responded, “It’s my understanding that we’d need to get the consent of the host government to open any diplomatic facility.”

Lapid has agreed to the formation of a joint team to discuss the consulate with the United States, but not until after the Israeli government passes a budget in the first week of November.

Idan Roll, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, has stated that he believes the consulate will not reopen.

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