Israeli Lawmaker Seeks to Outlaw US Reopening of US Palestinian Mission in Jerusalem

The Israeli Knesset. (Photo: via Wikimedia Commons)

Israeli right-wing member of the Knesset Nir Barkat is seeking to outlaw the planned reopening of a US mission in Jerusalem that has traditionally been a base for diplomatic outreach to the Palestinians, Reuters reports.

According to Reuters, Israel’s government, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, also opposes the reinauguration of the consulate, potentially buoying Likud lawmaker Barkat’s effort to scupper the move, though it would strain relations with Washington.

The consulate was subsumed into the US Embassy that was moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv in May 2018 by then-US President Donald Trump.

US President Joe Biden’s administration says it will reopen the consulate while leaving the embassy in place, Reuters noted.

Barkat’s legislation, filed in parliament last month and with voting as yet unscheduled, would outlaw opening a foreign mission in Jerusalem without Israel’s consent, according to Reuters.

Barkat said that polling showed some 70 percent of the Israeli public support the bill – enough to garner votes from within the coalition.

On his part, Ahmed Al-Deek, an adviser to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, said that Barkat “represents the position of far-right parties in Israel which seek to block any chance of reaching a two-state solution,” Reuters reported.

(The Palestine Chronicle, MEMO, Social Media)

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