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Israel asks US to postpone opening consulate in Jerusalem

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has requested the US Department of State to postpone the reopening of the country’s consulate in Jerusalem so as not to provoke further tensions, Axios news portal reported, citing unnamed Israeli officials reported on Thursday.

In May, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced Washington’s plans to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem.

According to Axios, officials at the Israeli Foreign Ministry have been pushing for a delay at least until end of summer to let the country stabilize under the new government, which consists of a mix of parties with opposing views.

Israeli officials expressed hope that the administration of US President Joe Biden would show understanding of the situation and will not press the country further on this issue, the news portal said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment, Axios added.

The US Consulate in Jerusalem was merged with the country’s embassy in Israel during the presidency of Donald Trump. Previously, the consulate, which has operated in East Jerusalem for decades, was de facto the country’s main diplomatic mission for the Palestinians.

Israel regards Jerusalem as its “one and indivisible” capital, particularly focusing on the eastern neighborhoods and the historic center, which were recaptured from Jordan half a century ago and later annexed. However, most countries do not recognize the annexation and consider the status of the city to be one of the core issues of the Middle Eastern tensions.

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