The U.S. State Department admitted on Wednesday that it could not open a consulate to the Palestinians in Yerushalayim without Israel’s authorization.

Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Brian McKeon said the US needs to get the consent of the host government to open any diplomatic facility.

In 2018, the U.S. closed its consulate to the Palestinians after it recognized Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital and moved the embassy there, and started a department for handling Palestinian consular affairs within the embassy to Israel.

At the moment, the facility on Agron Street, in western Yerushalayim, the part of the city that some other countries, like Russia, recognize as Israel’s, is turned into a residence for an ambassador.

During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to reopen the consulate but Israel is opposing it.

Sources said Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has agreed to the formation of a joint team to discuss the consulate with the United States but not until after the government passes the budget.

Earlier, Israel suggested that if Washington is interested in opening a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Yerushalayim, it should do so outside of the municipality’s jurisdiction, for example, in the neighborhood of Abu Dis.

However, the U.S. opposes the idea.

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