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Palestinians criticize Israeli comments on US ambassador to Jerusalem | Story


Palestinian officials say Israel has no right to block US elections to reopen its ambassador to East Jerusalem.

Palestinian officials have criticized Israel for refusing to reopen the US embassy in East Jerusalem, which could restore Washington’s main mission in Palestine in a rival city.

The Trump administration shut down the US ambassador to Jerusalem, an office that for many years served as a Palestinian ambassador. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has promised to reopen what Israel says will challenge his sovereignty in the city. The reopening could help repair US ties with the Palestinian Authority, which collapsed under Trump.

In a statement on Sunday, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said it saw the reopening of the ambassador as part of a series of international promises to end Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestine by the Palestinians.

Israelis on the right are holding a rally outside the US embassy in Jerusalem to protest against the US decision to reopen their ambassador to East Jerusalem, on October 27, 2021. [File Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]

“East Jerusalem is an inseparable part of the Palestinian territory and is the capital of the Palestinian state. Israel, as a ruler, has no right to oppose what the US authorities have done,” he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett said on Saturday there was “no place” in Jerusalem for the project.

“There is no place for another American ambassador to Jerusalem,” he said. “Jerusalem is the capital of one nation and it is the state of Israel.”

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the ambassador could be detained at a Palestinian state in Ramallah, the occupied West Bank.

On Saturday, Palestinian Presidential spokesman Mahmoud Abbas denied Lapid’s allegations.

“We have just accepted the US ambassador to Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine. This is what the US authorities have announced and they have volunteered to do,” Nabil Abu Rudeineh told Reuters.

The Palestinian Authority wants East Jerusalem as the capital of the future. Israel, which invaded East Jerusalem in 1967 and later merged it in a way that most nations of the world do not recognize, calls Jerusalem its undivided capital.

In an effort to improve relations with the Palestinian people, Biden’s government will reopen the embassy.

The ambassador is seen as another test between the Bennett government and the Biden government, which has changed its approach to restoring US foreign policy in Israel and Palestine after the Trump White House had a strong alliance with Israel over the disputes.

Trump demoted the ambassador’s office and placed it under his ambassador to Israel when he relocated the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in 2018. The ambassador’s move angered Palestinians and led them to end their relationship with Trump.

Blinken has not given a definite date for the reopening of the ambassador and U.S. officials have said Israel’s refusal to move could be a setback.


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