Middle East

DFLP slams US plan to replace Jerusalem consulate with ‘special envoy’

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) condemned the US on Monday for planning to replace its consulate in occupied Jerusalem with a special envoy for the Palestinian issue. “This is a poisonous bite made to catch the delusion of power granted to the Palestinian Authority,” said the DFLP.

On Sunday, the Times of Israel reported that the Biden administration had settled on a series of steps aimed at boosting diplomatic ties with the Palestinians after giving up the plan to reopen the consulate in Jerusalem. Citing US and Palestinian officials, the newspaper said that President Joe Biden will promote Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr to the role of Special Envoy to the Palestinians instead of appointing a Consul in occupied East Jerusalem.

Amr has longstanding ties with senior PA officials and is well-liked in Ramallah, but it is unclear whether his promotion would satisfy the Palestinians. The report stated that he will remain in Washington and make regular trips to the region and work closely with the Palestinian Affairs Unit at the US Embassy to Israel.

The unit’s diplomats used to work independently of the embassy until former US President Donald Trump closed the mission to the Palestinians in 2019. The Israeli daily added that Washington is hoping to finalise arrangements before next month’s expected visit of Biden to the region.

During his presidential campaign, Biden pledged to reopen the US Consulate in Jerusalem as well as the PLO diplomatic office in Washington, which Trump shut down in 2018.

The DFLP described Washington as telling “disclosed lies” and called for the PA to review its relationship with the US.

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