Israeli Likud MK Nir Barkat submitted a bill last week that would prevent the US from reopening its Jerusalem consulate to the Palestinians, which the Biden administration announced in May that it plans to do.
“We are talking about the unification of Jerusalem,” Barkat, a former mayor of Jerusalem, told Israeli Channel 12.
“Before we know it, there will be all sorts of European consulates in Jerusalem, and it will turn into the consular capital for the Palestinians,” he said.
However, several European countries already house their diplomatic missions to the Palestinians in the occupied city Jerusalem as part of their support for a Palestinian state in the capitall.
The proposed legislation, however, would ban any country from establishing a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem that is not a mission to the occupation state of ‘Israel’.
In May, the Biden administration announced that the U.S. would be reopening the Consulate General in Jerusalem that handled relations with the Palestinians.
“The United States will be moving forward with the process to reopen our consulate in Jerusalem,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
He added, “That’s an important way for our country to engage with and provide support for the Palestinian people.”
The consulate dates back to 1844 and served for 25 years as the U.S. diplomatic mission to the Palestinians.
However, in 2018, outgoing President Donald Trump merged the consulate into the US embassy in Jerusalem, after he moved the US embassy to ‘Israel’ from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem after his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
In 2018, the Trump administration also blocked nearly all aid to Palestinians after it severed ties with the Palestinian Authority (PA).