Jerusalem24 – The administration of US President Joe Biden has abandoned the idea of opening a consulate serving the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, according to The Times of Israel.
The US administration will instead take steps to improve relations with the Palestinians.
Hady Amr will be appointed as special envoy to the Palestinians in place of his current position as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs.
The Times quoted American and Palestinian sources as saying that Amr will remain in Washington but hold frequent meetings in the region to work directly with the Palestinian Affairs Unit of the American Embassy in Israel.
Previously, the unit was directly subordinate to the State Department and was not a hierarchical part of the embassy. It was integrated it into the embassy by former President Donald Trump.
The Times said that the intention of the US administration, ahead of Biden’s upcoming visit to the region, is to complete a series of steps that would compensate the Palestinians for not reopening a separate consulate to serve them.
Most Palestinians in the West Bank, including Palestinian-Americans, require a permit from Israel to visit the US embassy in Jerusalem.