U.S. Downgrade of Palestinian Mission Taking Effect Monday

U.S. Downgrade of Palestinian Mission Taking Effect Monday

In December 2017, United Nations member states voted decisively at the General Assembly in favour of a resolution effectively declaring U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital to be "null and void" and demanding it be cancelled. Today's move has angered Palestinian leaders, and it is just the latest move by the Trump administration that has angered Palestinian leaders.

The estate will now become the domain of the USA ambassador to Israel, a move which has been criticized in many quarters.

DANIEL ESTRIN, BYLINE: Hi, there.

The consulate had acted as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians.

"Though the U.S. said the merger was meant for bureaucratic efficiency, Malaysia views that it is nothing more than a smokescreen trying to camouflage what is essentially opening of the American Embassy in Jerusalem", it said in the statement. It was based in a attractive historic stone mansion with a lovely courtyard, downtown Jerusalem.

Palestinians have condemned the shuttering of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, which served as the main diplomatic liaison with the Palestinian territories. And the idea was to have diplomatic symmetry. However, the unit will be housed in the consulate building on Agron Street, which is situated between Jerusalem's city center and the Old City, and not in the embassy, located in the Arnona neighborhood, said a US statement.

KELLY: So why do this move now? Two of the three occupants in the vehicle were killed by Israeli forces.

"One of the most important steps on supporting our Palestinian brothers is to stop any forms of normalizing relations with Israeli occupants, that is why we are calling for taking a resolute and firm position on putting an end to any forms of normalizing relations with Israel", the statement said.

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The mission then moved to Prophet Street outside the old city, and in 1912 it was moved to its current location on 18 Agron Street in a building that was established in 1868 by the German Lutheran missionary Ferdinand Vester, whose family would later build what became the American Colony.

The road, aptly named "death street" for its lack of streetlights and narrowness, have led Palestinian residents of the village to argue that the ramming was an accident.

At the same time, 75 percent of respondents said Mandelblit's decision had not affected their opinion of the prime minister, while the remaining 13 percent said they were "not sure". What are they saying? It also saluted the Palestinian-Arab-Islamic stand, which was restated in the decisions of the foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation following their meeting in Abu Dhabi. On official, Saeb Erekat, said it was "the final nail in the coffin" for the United States' role as key peacemaker in the region.

President Donald Trump is preparing to unveil a long-awaited Middle East peace plan, but Palestinian officials have refused to engage with his envoys since his controversial decision in December 2017 to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital and relocate the USA embassy to the city from Tel Aviv.

USA officials pledge that the plan will be fair despite Palestinians' dismissal of such claims.

The symbolic shift hands authority over U.S. diplomatic channels with the West Bank and Gaza to ambassador David Friedman, a longtime supporter and fundraiser for the West Bank settler movement and a fierce opponent of the Palestinian leadership. However, the response he received from most of his hosts was that they would have little interest in contributing to the initiative until Kushner revealed his political cards on thorny issues such as occupied East Jerusalem, illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, final borders, the fate of refugees and water resources.

KELLY: NPR's Daniel Estrin reporting from Jerusalem.

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