Lapid and Blinken
Lapid and Blinken Stefano Meloni

Foreign Affairs Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) gave US Secretary of State Antony Blinken an early commitment that it would be possible to carry out the move to reopen its consulate for the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem, according to a source close in close relations with Washington. Lapid denies this. Washington refuses to comment. The remarks are published Sunday morning by the political correspondent of Israel Hayom, Ariel Kahana.

The tension between Israel and the United States in the consulate affair with the Palestinian Authority Arabs in Jerusalem stems, among other things, from a lack of coordination between Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Lapid, Israel Hayom told a political source.

According to the source, Foreign Minister Lapid gave Blinken an early commitment that it would be possible to carry out the move, making the promise in one of the first phone calls between the two, shortly after the government was formed.

In the conversation, Lapid noted that due to the sensitive political structure of the government, it is better to open the consulate only after the national budget passes in the Knesset, since then the stability of the government will be ensured. Blinken accepted Lapid's position, promoting the process of opening the consulate in the State Department but also agreeing to wait until the budget before continuing the process.

However, about a month after the formation of the government, contacts began between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's advisers and the administration on the issue. In these talks, the two clarified that Bennett opposes in principle the opening of the consulate regardless of the political timing and even after the budget is approved in the Knesset. The American administration was very surprised by the position of the two and was disappointed by the inconsistency in the position of Israel.

According to the political source: "One of the reasons Blinken announced last week that he intended to open the consulate precisely when Lapid was by his side and when he knew that Israel was opposed, was that Lapid misled him."

Foreign Affairs Minister Lapid claims the report is not true and that he completely opposes the opening of the consulate. Lapid also denies the claim that in the event that no agreement is reached between the parties, the Americans will open the consulate unilaterally.

MK Nir Barkat (Likud), who has been dealing with the issue of the PA consulate that the Americans intend to open for two months, reiterates that there is an agreement between the governments and that the move will be made after the state budget is approved.

According to Barkat, "The agreement with Lapid and Bennett is that the Americans will not act before the budget passes, in order to allow the government to continue to exist, but after the budget passes the plan is for the new ambassador, who will arrive in Israel, to open the Palestinian consulate unilaterally. The purpose in the opening of the Palestinian consulate is to establish Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and to promote the establishment of a Palestinian state. "