Washington, The United States is expected to move ahead with its decision to downgrade its mission to the Palestinians next Monday by merging its Jerusalem consulate with the embassy in Israel, a US senior official said late Saturday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said when announcing the merger in October that it was intended to improve "efficiency and effectiveness" and did not constitute a change in policy.

Palestinian leaders have seen the decision as yet another move against them by US President Donald Trump's administration, which they froze contact with after his 2017 decision recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Jerusalem consulate general, which has acted independently as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians since the Oslo accords of the 1990s, will be replaced by a new Palestinian affairs unit within the embassy.

Trump's decision to move the embassy to Jerusalem broke with decades of international consensus that the status of the city must first be decided upon through negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Source: Jordan News Agency