Tel Aviv: – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett asserted, ‘There is no room for the American consulate in Jerusalem. We present our position quietly without drama and we expect it to be understood. Jerusalem is the capital of one state and that’s the state of Israel.’ At the same time, Prime Minister Bennett suggested that the United States may start a consulate for the Palestinians somewhere in the West bank.
In 2018, the former US President, Donald Trump, moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He also closed the embassy for the Palestinians located in Jerusalem. After that, Trump announced Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Israel heartily welcomed the US announcement. However, the Palestinian government and supporters heavily criticised President Trump’s decision. Palestine, which claims that East Jerusalem is its capital, had curtailed its relations with the United States.
Consequently, US President Joe Biden had announced that the decision taken by Trump would be withdrawn and the embassy for Palestinians would start in Jerusalem again. A few weeks ago, US State Secretary Antony Blinken had announced that the consulate for Palestinians would begin functioning in Jerusalem again.
While talking to the media, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced that Jerusalem is the capital only of Israel. Furthermore, he asserted that the consulate for any other country would not be acceptable in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Bennett said, ‘This stance has been conveyed to the United States and a consulate for the Palestinians will not be allowed up in Jerusalem.’ Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid also endorsed the stand of the Israeli Prime Minister and suggested that if the embassy is to be started, it could be located in Ramallah or Abu Dis region in the West Bank.
The US Ambassador to Israel refrained from commenting on the reactions of the Israeli leaders. Whereas, the Palestinian leaders rejected the proposal made by the Israeli Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister. The Palestinian leaders criticised that it is clear from this Israeli stand that it still has the stand of encroaching on Palestine.