Israel rejects new Jerusalem consulates, pressuring countries to open embassies — report

Israel is pressuring countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem by no longer accepting requests to open honorary consulates in the capital, Channel 13 reports.

The Foreign Ministry sent an official letter last November to all countries that have diplomatic relations with Israel, saying from now on such requests will be refused and honorary consuls’ terms won’t be renewed unless those countries already have an embassy in Jerusalem, the report says.

The move reportedly came after Australia and the Czech Republic sought to open honorary consulates in Jerusalem instead of moving their embassies to the contested city, as the US and Guatemala have done.

Senior officials are quoted as saying Israel seeks to prevent countries from making largely symbolic moves and cause them to open more substantial institutions in the city, such as cultural centers.