The Trump administration announced Thursday that it is downgrading its diplomatic mission to the Palestinian Authority after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, which was in charge of relations with the Palestinians, will cease to exist and become the "Palestinian Affairs Unit" in the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Why it matters: This is a dramatic decision. Pompeo described the move as technical and said it was prompted by operational efficiency, but it has big political consequences and symbolism. The decision wipes out another symbol of Palestinian sovereignty that was recognized by both Republican and Democratic administrations over the last 25 years. The consulate is also considered a symbolic U.S. recognition of the Israeli occupation in the West Bank.