The State Department announced today that the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem is now permanently closed, marking the demotion of Washington’s de-facto embassy to the Palestinians.
“This decision was driven by our global efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our diplomatic engagements and operations,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. “It does not signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip.”
The consulate general’s historic building on Agron Road will now be renamed the Palestinian Affairs Unit and operate under the auspices of the embassy.
The closure of the consulate was expected for months after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement last October.
The decision follows the Trump administration’s decision to move the official embassy in Israel to Jerusalem fro its previous location in Tel Aviv.