As Jerusalem Post reporters Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff noted, until now the two entities - the embassy and the consulate general, located in a lovely building on Jerusalem's Agron Street - functioned as two distinct units, each reporting separately to the State Department and, even more curiously, each holding its own July 4 celebrations.
What had functioned as the U.S. mission to the Palestinians since the 1990s is now officially known as the Palestinian Affairs Unit.
"This decision was driven by our global efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our diplomatic engagements and operations", a US State Department spokesman said in a statement.
Two Palestinian assailants were killed by Israeli security forces on Monday after they were suspected of a car-ramming attack at an intersection in the West Bank that seriously injured one Israeli soldier.
The decision had been announced in October.
No, the Consulate (the de facto U.S. mission to Palestine) will NOT "merge" with the Embassy.
US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman officially shuttered the consulate by thanking its Consul General Karen Sasahara for her "service and professionalism" and wishing her well representing America in her next posting. It has cut funding to the United Nations agency that provides aid to Palestinians classified as refugees.
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The consulate had primarily served the capital's Palestinians and was the main channel of communication over the years between the US administration and the Palestinian leadership.
Palestinian official Saeb Erekat called the move "the final nail in the coffin" for the US role in peacemaking.
An official of the militant group said the "executions" of the men "shot in cold blood.reflects the reality of the Palestinian people and its situation resulting from the continuing suffering and the existence of the [Israeli] occupation".
For decades, the consulate functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians. "It is an act of political assault on Palestinian rights and identity and a negation of the consulate's historic status and function, dating back almost two hundred years".
But in response, a senior Israeli diplomatic official told Hebrew media that "the issue was never discussed".
According to Moscow-based "UrduPoint News", the conference was held in the Jordanian capital of Amman on Sunday and Monday under the motto "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Palestine" and involved speakers of parliaments of 16 Arab states as well as several representatives of other countries' parliaments.
In December 2017, United Nations member states voted decisively at the General Assembly in favour of a resolution effectively declaring U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital to be "null and void" and demanding it be cancelled. These are considered illegal under worldwide law, though Israel disputes this.