Written by Staff Writer, CNN
Israeli authorities have given US Consulate General in Jerusalem two months to leave its building in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Al-Quds after determining there is no room for it, a spokesman for the Jerusalem municipality told CNN.
The US Consulate General opened last week in an office in the Nasr Street building as part of a US effort to retain diplomatic ties with Israel.
The Israeli municipality’s official, Zeev Elkin, told CNN that in their assessment, the position of the consulate is “incorrect” because it is occupied by the Arab neighborhood of al-Bireh.
“It cannot be both a consulate for Palestinians and Jerusalem’s capital,” Elkin said.
“Therefore, we have decided to revoke the authorization of the United States to operate in the downtown building of the US Consulate General, which is located in the territory of Al-Quds,” he added.
He said there was “no room” for it because it is occupied by al-Bireh.
Elkin’s comments are in line with an official statement released in early December by the Jerusalem municipality that the location was not available in the area the US consulate decided to occupy.
“The property of the consulate can be shared among other Jewish entities as is the practice in the past. At the same time, the city council discussed last week a change of the zoning of the Prem Moreh building,” the statement read.
The former Prem Moreh building was vacated by the US Consulate General as it relocated to Nasr Street.