United States officially shuttered its consulate in Jerusalem

The United States has officially shuttered its consulate in Jerusalem & downgraded the status of its main diplomatic mission to the Palestinians by folding it into the U.S. Embassy to Israel. For decades, the consulate functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians. Now, that outreach will be handled by a Palestinian affairs unit, under the command of the embassy. The symbolic shift hands authority over U.S. diplomatic channels with the West Bank and Gaza to Ambassador David Friedman, a longtime supporter and fundraiser for the West Bank settler movement and fierce critic of the Palestinian leadership. The downgrade is the latest in a string of divisive decisions by the Trump administration that have backed Israel and alienated the Palestinians, who say they have lost faith in the US administration’s role as a neutral arbiter in peace process.

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