Foreign Minister Yair Lapid held a briefing today (Wednesday) for foreign media representatives stationed in Israel, and addressed the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan.

Lapid criticized the way in which American forces withdrew from the country, saying that the withdrawal was "the right decision that wasn't performed in the right manner."

Lapid advised the United States to drop the issue of the opening of a consulate for the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem and hinted that the reason was opposition from the Yamina and New Hope.

"We think it's a bad idea," he said. "We feel it would send the wrong message. "We have an interesting yet delicate structure of our government and we think this might destabilize this government, and I don't think the American administration wants this to happen."

"Jerusalem is the sovereign capital of Israel and Israel alone, and therefore we don't think it's a good idea", Lapid added. "We know that the administration has a different way of looking at this, but since it is happening in Israel, we are sure they are listening to us very carefully."

Tomorrow (Thursday) the Knesset will convene for a special debate against the establishment of the consulate in Jerusalem, after MK Nir Barkat of the Likud managed to collect the signatures of 50 MKs for a recess debate.

"The prime minister's stutter about Jerusalem is very disturbing," said Barkat. The move to establish a consulate is in fact intended to establish Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. This is a disastrous move on a historic scale. We will fight in every way to keep Jerusalem the capital of a united Israel, in the face of the government's weakness."

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