Jerusalem24 – Writer and political analyst Hani Al-Masri said that the position of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who refuses to reopen the US Consulate in occupied Jerusalem to serve the Palestinians, is not surprising and expected. Especially after he managed to pass the budget law, which means “a longer life” for his government coalition and greater boldness in decision-making.
Regarding the reactions, Al-Masri considered that the Palestinian situation makes the Palestinian position unconvincing due to the division on the one hand, and the inability to take any action besides statements of condemnation and denunciation.
Al-Masri considered that the Israeli decision is a challenge to the Palestinians in the first place, before it is considered a challenge to the American administration. The most that can be done is to run behind an “American position,” it is also possible to demand other positions; such as the immediate reopening of the PLO office.
It is noteworthy that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in press statements, “My position, which was presented to the Americans, is that there is no place for an American consulate serving the Palestinians in Jerusalem. We express our opinion steadily, calmly and without review.”
Meanwhile, Yair Lapid, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Israeli government suggested reopening the consulate in the West Bank, and said, “if the United States wants to open a consulate in Ramallah, we have no problem with that.”
In turn, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry condemned the statements of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who stressed public opposition to President Joe Biden’s administration’s plan to reopen the US Consulate in occupied Jerusalem to serve the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, Palestinian presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh rejected Lapid’s statements, telling Reuters, “we will only accept that the US consulate in Jerusalem be in the capital of the Palestinian state, and this is what the US administration has announced and has committed to.”
Hussein Al-Sheikh, a member of the Fatah Central Committee, expressed his anger and responded to statements in a tweet on his Twitter account, in which he said: “Bennett’s statements about the American Consulate in East Jerusalem are a new challenge from the government of Israel to the administration of US President Joe Biden, which was announced in More than once for its decision to open the US Consulate in East Jerusalem!!!
Bennett's statements about the #US consulate in East Jerusalem are a new challenge from the Israeli government to the #Biden administration, which has already announced repeatedly its decision to open the US Consulate in East Jerusalem!!!. https://t.co/mONs26o9LO
— حسين الشيخ Hussein Al Sheikh (@HusseinSheikhpl) November 7, 2021
The consulate in Jerusalem was closed by former US President Donald Trump in 2019, and its employees were attached to the US embassy in Ramallah, and moved to the city a year ago, in what the Palestinians see as a decline in their relations with the United States.