Published: Mon, March 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Palestinians Ram Car Into IDF Soldiers in West Bank, Get Neutralised - Army

Palestinians Ram Car Into IDF Soldiers in West Bank, Get Neutralised - Army

The State Department says it has shut down the Consulate General Jerusalem, a key conduit to Palestinian leaders.

Friedman, who helped spearhead May's relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to a different converted consular building in south Jerusalem, was not present.

A Palestinian official called the move "the last nail in the coffin of the U.S. administration's role in peacemaking".

View of the United States embassy in Jerusalem's Arnona neighborhood, May 13, 2018.

The State Department has not confirmed reports that the consul general's residence in Jerusalem will eventually become the home for the U.S. ambassador as part of the embassy's move to the disputed city, which occurred last May.

The consulate had acted as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians.

The Palestinians, who have boycotted the Trump administration since it shifted long-standing US policy in December 2017 by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, voiced anger at what they see as Washington's latest move against them.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the move will not constitute a change in policy and is meant to improve "efficiency and effectiveness".

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Israeli troops have shot dead two Palestinian attackers after they deliberately drove a auto into a group of soldiers, seriously wounding one and injuring another, the military said.

'The specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties'. Now, that outreach will be handled by a Palestinian affairs unit, under the command of the embassy.

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), said: "The Trump administration is intent on leaving no room for doubt about its hostility towards the Palestinian people and their inalienable rights, as well as its abject disregard for global law and its obligations under the law".

The administration also has slashed hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to the Palestinians, including assistance to hospitals and peace-building programs.

Israeli soldiers have been the targets of multiple car-ramming attacks in the area in recent years, with the number peaking in late 2015 and early 2016.

The situation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority remains tense over a series of attacks and incidents that have taken place in recent months.

Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, announced last month that the USA would unveil the deal after Israeli elections in April.

When Pompeo announced the merger plan last autumn, senior Palestinian leader Saeb Erekat denounced the decision to eliminate the consulate as the latest evidence the Trump administration was working with Israel to impose a "Greater Israel" rather than a two-state solution.

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