Mideast peace

Expert Voices

U.S. adds strain to Palestinian ties with Jerusalem consulate merger

Israeli flags flutter in front of the Dome of the Rock in the Jerusalem's Old City, on February 19, 2019.
Israeli flags in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. official announced yesterday that the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, which serves Palestinians, will be absorbed into the new U.S. Embassy to Israel in March.

Why it matters: The move is of a piece with the administration's attempts to recast the Palestinian refugee issue and its apparently tenuous commitment to a two-state solution. The merger is yet another demonstration of the Trump peace team's determination to change U.S. policy toward core elements of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, both on paper and on the ground.

Scoop: Israel rejected 2014 Saudi proposal on Palestinian peace talks

On the last day of the 2014 Gaza War, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting with a special envoy from the Saudi king. In the meeting, Saudi Arabia proposed a joint diplomatic initiative on relaunching Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, rebuilding Gaza and confronting Iran, three sources briefed on the effort told me.

More stories loading.