US Mission to Palestinians Renamed, Will Report Directly to Washington

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The US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem said on Thursday that it had been renamed and will report directly to Washington “on substantive matters,” signaling an upgrade in ties ahead of a planned visit by President Joe Biden.

The former “Palestinian Affairs Unit” (PAU) was renamed the “US Office of Palestinian Affairs” (OPA) under the move. Prior to becoming the PAU, it had been the US consulate in Jerusalem and a focus of Palestinian statehood goals in the city.

And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.  Zechariah 12:3 

The US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Jerusalem said on Thursday that it had been renamed and will report directly to Washington “on substantive matters,” signaling an upgrade in ties ahead of a planned visit by President Joe Biden.

The former “Palestinian Affairs Unit” (PAU) was renamed the “US Office of Palestinian Affairs” (OPA) under the move. Prior to becoming the PAU, it had been the US consulate in Jerusalem and a focus of Palestinian statehood goals in the city.

“The name change was done to better align with State Department nomenclature,” the spokesperson said. “The new OPA operating structure is designed to strengthen our diplomatic reporting and public diplomacy engagement.”

Palestinian officials had no immediate comment. They were due on Thursday to host State Department envoy Hady Amr in Ramallah, their seat of government in the West Bank.

Under the Trump-era renaming, the former consulate’s staff and functions remained largely identical, but they were subordinate to the embassy rather than on a strict US-Palestinian bilateral track.

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