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Consulate General of the United States, Jerusalem

The Consulate General of the United States in Jerusalem was a diplomatic mission of United States of America that was accredited to Palestinian residents in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. In May 2018, the United States relocated its Tel Aviv embassy to Jerusalem.[2][3] In mid-October 2018, United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Consulate General would be merged with the new US Embassy in Jerusalem and that relations with the Palestinians would be conducted through a special Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the Embassy.[4] On March 4, 2019, the Consulate General formally ceased operations and was merged into the US Embassy.[5][6][7][8]

Consulate General of the United States of America Jerusalem
Seal of the United States Department of State.svg
USConsulateJerusalem.JPG
The Consulate-General's former Agron Street premises
LocationJerusalem
Coordinates31°44′52″N 35°13′29″E / 31.747816°N 35.224632°E / 31.747816; 35.224632Coordinates: 31°44′52″N 35°13′29″E / 31.747816°N 35.224632°E / 31.747816; 35.224632
Opened1844; 175 years ago (1844)
Closed2019; 0 years ago (2019)
Consul GeneralKaren Sasahara
(August 2018–March 2019)[1]

Contents

HistoryEdit

The U.S. consulate first opened in 1844 in the Old City, inside Jaffa Gate, in what is now the Swedish Christian Study Center. In the late 19th century, the consulate moved to a site on the Street of the Prophets. In 1912, it moved to Gershon Agron Street, in present-day West Jerusalem. The main building, one of the first houses built outside the Old City walls, was constructed in 1868 by Ferdinand Vester, a German Lutheran missionary. A third story was added later. On May 23, 1948, the Consul General, Thomas C. Wasson, was assassinated. In 1952, the consulate leased another building on Nablus Road, East Jerusalem.[9]

Trump Administration and merger into US EmbassyEdit

On May 14, 2018, the new embassy of the United States in Jerusalem opened on a small part of the Arnona site of the Jerusalem consulate general, and it is now the new diplomatic mission from the United States of America to the State of Israel, replacing the former embassy of the United States in Tel Aviv.[2][3] Out of the 1,000 employees at the Tel Aviv embassy, about 50 transferred to operate the new embassy.[10]

The Consulate General will continue to operate as an independent mission from its historic Agron Road site.[3] The opening of the new Embassy coincide with the bloodiest day of the 2018 Gaza border protests, seeing the death of more than 40 Palestinians demonstrators. The opening also coincides with the 70th Anniversary of Israel as a Nation in this modern era.[11]

On October 18, 2018, the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US would be merging the US Consulate General with the newly-relocated US Embassy in Jerusalem into a single mission. Pompeo also announced that the US would continue to conduct its reporting, outreach and program in the Palestinian Territories through a new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside the US Embassy in Jerusalem. This unit will operate from the Agron Road site in Jerusalem.[4] While the announcement was welcomed by the Israeli Government, Palestinian officials accused the Trump Administration for supporting Israel's claim to Jerusalem.[12][13][14][15]

On February 19, 2019, it was reported that US Consulate General would be merging into the US Embassy in March 2019.[16][17][18] On March 4, 2019, the Consulate General ceased operating and was merged into the US Embassy; ending the US practice of having separate diplomatic missions to the Israelis and Palestinians. The former Consulate-General's Agron Road building will be renamed the Palestinian Affairs Unit, which will carry out many of the former Consulate-General's functions. The last Consul-General was Karen Sasahara.[5][6][7][8]

In response to the Consulate General's merger into the US Embassy, Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the PLO's Executive Committee urged the international community to boycott the new Palestinian Affairs Unit.[19][20][21] Meanwhile, fellow Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi called the closure of the Consulate General "an assault on Palestinian rights and identity."[22]

LocationEdit

The US Consulate General was located on 18 Gershon Agron Street and once operated a consular section on 14 David Flusser Street, Arnona in West Jerusalem.[23] Until 2010, citizen and visa services operated out of the building at 27 Nablus Road in East Jerusalem.[9] In October 2010, consular services were moved to a new building complex (just east of the Arnona neighborhood of West Jerusalem) bisected by the Green Line and thus partly in what was defined in 1949 as No Man's Land [24]

On May 14, 2018, the new US Embassy in Jerusalem moved into the Arnona consular section annex compound of the current Jerusalem consulate general which continues to exist. The space will house the Ambassador and a small staff. The Ambassador will split his time between the two locations. The remaining Embassy functions will be conducted out of the former Tel Aviv Embassy now officially referred to a Branch Office of the Embassy. Most consular Functions of the still existing Consulate have been subsumed under Embassy authority.[2][3] The embassy compound is located on a parcel of land that straddles the unsettled boundary green line into a No Man’s Land so designated at the armistice agreement between Jordan and Israel ending the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.[25][26]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Consul General Karen Sasahara". U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. Archived from the original on November 21, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Wilner, Michael (February 23, 2018). "U.S. CONFIRMS JERUSALEM EMBASSY OPENING IN MAY". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d Nauert, Heather. "Opening of U.S. Embassy Jerusalem". United States Department of State. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Pompeo, Mike. "On the Merging of U.S. Embassy Jerusalem and U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem". U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. Archived from the original on February 11, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Palladino, Robert. "Merger of U.S. Embassy Jerusalem and U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem". U.S. Embassy in Israel. Archived from the original on March 6, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "US closes Jerusalem consulate, demoting Palestinian mission". Times of Israel. Associated Press. March 4, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Hansler, Jennifer (March 4, 2019). "US Consulate in Jerusalem will merge with embassy". CNN. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Keinon, Herb; Lazaroff, Tovah (March 4, 2019). "US Consulate for Palestinians to be merged with Embassy Monday". Jerusalem Post'. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "About the Consulate Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine." Consulate-General of the United States in Jerusalem. Retrieved on January 16, 2009.
  10. ^ Schneider, Tal; Zerachovitz, Omri; Barkat, Amiram (May 14, 2018). "US Jerusalem embassy opening starts long process". Globes. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  11. ^ Wagner, Meg; Ries, Brian (May 15, 2018). "Dozens die in Gaza as US Embassy opens in Jerusalem". CNN. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  12. ^ "U.S. to merge Jerusalem consulate in to new embassy". Reuters. October 19, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  13. ^ Holmes, Oliver (October 18, 2018). "US downgrades consulate for Palestinians into Israel embassy unit". The Guardian. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "Erekat slams US' decision to merge US Jerusalem consulate and embassy". Wafa. October 18, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  15. ^ Wilner, Michael (October 18, 2018). "U.S. merges Jerusalem embassy and consulate". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  16. ^ "US Palestinian mission to merge with Israeli embassy next month". Ynetnews. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  17. ^ "U.S. Palestinian mission to merge with Israel embassy in March". Euronews. Reuters. February 19, 2019. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  18. ^ Correll, Diana (February 19, 2019). "US Palestinian mission, Israeli embassy to merge in March". Washington Examiner. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  19. ^ "Palestinians call on diplomats to boycott US embassy in Jerusalem". Middle East Monitor. March 8, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  20. ^ "Palestinian negotiator calls for boycott of new US embassy unit". Times of Israel. Associated Press. March 7, 2019. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  21. ^ Benari, Elad (March 8, 2019). "Erekat calls for boycott of US Embassy in Jerusalem". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  22. ^ Dalloul, Motasem (March 5, 2019). "The merger of the US consulate and embassy in Jerusalem completes the humiliation of the Palestinians". Middle East Monitor. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  23. ^ "Consulate". US Consulate General in Jerusalem. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  24. ^ American consulate relocates to high-end area
  25. ^ Farrell, Stephen; Lubell, Maayan (May 15, 2018). "U.S. Jerusalem embassy lies 'at the end of the world'". Reuters. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  26. ^ Kershner, Isabel (March 7, 2018). "New U.S. Embassy May Be in Jerusalem, but Not in Israel Image". New York Times. Retrieved October 21, 2018.

External linksEdit