Ambassador Kurtzer is Leaving Tel Aviv. Who Will Go to Gaza?
US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, has completed his term. Since the US has not officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, US Embassy to Israel is located in Tel Aviv.
In contrast, the US commissioned diplomat to the Palestinian Authority (PA) resides in and works from West Jerusalem.
The Reut institute contends that the rationale behind this reality is no longer valid. It is time for all diplomatic representatives to the PA to be stationed in Gaza or Ramallah.
What is the Issue?
Why are there no diplomatic missions to the Palestinian Authority (PA)?
In Oslo, Israel refused to allow the PA attributes of statehood prior to the Permanent Status Agreement (see article IX of the Interim Agreement). Accordingly, foreign missions, such as embassies and consulates, may not be established in the West Bank or Gaza.
Why are there foreign diplomatic missions in Jerusalem?
UN Resolution 181 ("The Partition Plan" 11/29/47) stated that Jerusalem will be established as a "Corpus Separatum" administered by the UN. According to UN Resolution 194 (12/11/1948), the permanent status of Jerusalem is to be determined in an agreement.
Therefore, most countries have not recognized Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel, and as a result, most diplomatic missions to Israel are located in Tel Aviv.
However, many countries have political and religious interests in Jerusalem, and therefore maintain diplomatic missions in the city. The political status of these missions, dating back to the days of the Ottoman Empire before World War I, was reinforced in Resolutions 181 and 194.
Israel & The Palestinians
The presence of foreign missions in Jerusalem alongside the absence of official diplomatic missions to the PA has both practical and symbolic significance regarding the status of Jerusalem, the political status of the PA and the end of Israel's responsibility over Gaza.