(October 18, 2018 / JNS) The U.S. Embassy in Israel and U.S. Consulate General, both in Jerusalem, will merge to “achieve significant efficiencies and increase our effectiveness,” the State Department announced on Thursday.
The embassy moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May after U.S. President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017.
In announcing the change, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the move does not change U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank or Gaza.
“As the president proclaimed in December of last year, the United States continues to take no position on final status issues, including boundaries or borders,” said Pompeo. “The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final-status negotiations between the parties.”
“The administration is strongly committed to achieving a lasting and comprehensive peace that offers a brighter future to Israel and the Palestinians,” continued the U.S.’s top diplomat. “We look forward to continued partnership and dialogue with the Palestinian people and, we hope in the future, with the Palestinian leadership.”
The National Council of Young Israel hailed the decision to combine the two American entities.
“Merging the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem with the newly opened U.S. embassy there is wholly consistent with the United States’ historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to relocate its embassy there,” according to a statement. “This latest step is yet another indication of the Trump administration’s commitment to bestowing its blessing on Israel’s right to establish its own capital, and the United States’ pledge to give proper credence to that determination.”