US merges its embassy and Consulate General in Jerusalem into single diplomatic mission
United States has decided to merge its Consulate General with its new embassy in Israel into single diplomatic mission in Jerusalem. This decision was taken as part of US’s global efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness of its operations. It also comes after US under President Donald Trump administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017 and moved its Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. The consulate general in Jerusalem was top mission of US for Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem for their capital. Post this merger, US will establish new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside embassy in Jerusalem to continue reporting, outreach and programming in West Bank and Gaza as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem.
The status of Jerusalem is one of thorniest disputes between Israel and Palestinians. Palestinians, with broad international backing, seek East Jerusalem as capital of state they want to establish in occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. But, Israel regards all of city, including eastern sector it captured in 1967 Middle East war and annexed, as its eternal and indivisible capital, but this is recognized internationally.