Report: US Proposes Joint Team with Israel amid Jerusalem Consulate Dispute

Antony J. Blinken (Video Grab, via US Department of State)

The US and Israel are looking to form a joint team aimed at resolving a dispute over Washington’s plans to reopen a consulate in Jerusalem – used for diplomatic outreach with Palestinians – despite strong Israeli opposition, Axios reported on Wednesday.

The joint panel would include US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Axios reported, adding that the move was put forward by Blinken during his meeting with his Israeli counterpart in Washington last week.

Lapid reportedly warned Blinken that the reopening of the de-facto Palestinian consulate – closed by former President Donald Trump in 2019 – could put the Israeli government at risk of collapsing due to the disparate views on the subject.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other high-ranking Israeli officials have outright rejected plans to reopen the consulate.

“I don’t know how to hold this coalition together if you reopen the consulate,” Lapid told Blinken during their meeting, according to Axios.

The report continued that Blinken acknowledged the political sensitivity surrounding such a decision, adding that the goal of a joint team would be for both sides to reach a solution in a “discreet fashion aimed at preventing the matter from turning into a larger diplomatic incident”.

It is unclear if and when a joint US-Israeli team would be established.

(The New Arab, PC, Social Media)

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