200 GOP lawmakers tell Biden not to reopen Jerusalem consulate for Palestinian groups

Israelis hold signs and flags during a protest against the possible reopening of the American consulate in front of the site of the former consulate, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. U. S. President Joe Biden promised in his election campaign to reopen the consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Israelis hold signs and flags during a protest against the possible reopening of the American consulate in front of the site of the former consulate, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. U. S. President Joe Biden promised in his election campaign to reopen the consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

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UPDATED 10:29 AM PT – Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Republican lawmakers are warning Joe Biden against reopening a U.S. consulate for Palestinian groups in Jerusalem. In a letter to Biden on Tuesday, 200 congressional Republicans stressed the U.S. is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and reopening a consulate for the Palestinian authority would strain U.S.-Israeli ties.

Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) argued the first U.S. diplomatic mission in Jerusalem opened in 1844 and it was not designed as outreach to Palestinians. Republicans added, the U.S. already has an embassy in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials are also warning Biden against opening a Palestinian consulate. When asked if this was something officials were willing to sign off on, Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Saar said, “I want to make it very clear, we oppose it. ”

The State Department has yet to comment whether it’s possible to open a diplomatic mission overseas amid objections by the host country.

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