Visiting a Palestinian hospital on the Mt. of Olives unaccompanied by Israeli officials would undermine Israeli sovereignty.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
U.S. President Joe Biden is considering visiting eastern Jerusalem unaccompanied by Israeli officials in June, Israel’s Kan News reported.
No U.S. president has ever visited any area of Jerusalem unaccompanied by Israeli officials and such a visit would undermine Israeli sovereignty over the eastern part of the city.
According to the report, Biden would pay a visit to the Al Makassed Hospital, which is located on the Mount of Olives. It is believed that Biden will announce the renewal of U.S. financing for Palestinian health care in eastern Jerusalem.
In 2018, the administration of President Donald Trump slashed $25 million in funding for the East Jerusalem Hospitals Network, a group of six Palestinian medical centers which Al Makassed is part of.
The Al Makassed Hospital is run by the Al Makassed Islamic Charitable Society. With 250 beds, it is the largest Palestinian medical center in eastern Jerusalem.
The Biden administration has been trying to reboot Palestinian ties by reopening the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem. Israel has managed to block the reopening, but the issue periodically resurfaces. Critics say that opening a consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem infringes on Israeli sovereignty, re-divides Jerusalem and rewards Palestinian intransigence.
Biden’s travel dates have not been finalized but reports say the visit will be scheduled around the G7 summit which is being held in Germany on June 26-28.