Top Trump Aide Won't Say If Western Wall Is Part Of Israel

Top Trump Aide Won't Say If Western Wall Is Part Of Israel

Top Trump Aide Won't Say If Western Wall Is Part Of Israel

President Donald Trump's national security adviser is sidestepping questions about Jerusalem's Western Wall amid a spat with Israel related to Trump's plans to visit the site in the Old City next week.

His visit to the Western Wall will be the first by a sitting US president; only presidential candidates have visited the holy site.

As a major supporter of right-wing Israeli-based causes for many years, Friedman finds himself defending to the right the failure of President Trump to implement the campaign promises he - and surrogate spokesmen like Friedman - made during the campaign such as moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognizing Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and allowing Israel to develop its communities built on land Israel conquered in the 1967 war that the Palestinians claim as their state.

Trump will be visiting the wall in his upcoming trip to Israel but does not intend to be accompanied by Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

Netanyahu, in preparation for Trump's first foray beyond the borders of the country that elected him president, is known to be hoping to gain support for the United States embassy move, as it would be interpreted as validating Israel's 1967 annexation of the eastern section of Jerusalem, and a slap in the face to Palestine's original claims on the region.

Removed from a schedule distributed to reporters earlier this week by Israel's government was a planned visit by Trump to Masada.

Rex Tillerson, US secretary of state, said on Sunday that Trump was still assessing whether relocating the embassy would help or harm chances for peace.

"We know the Israelis do not want to give on Jerusalem at all and we have to see how strong the Palestinians stand on that".

USA ambassador to Israel David Friedman, centre, visits the Western Wall on Monday.

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After his arrival in Tel Aviv, Friedman visited the Western Wall, praying there and kissing the sacred site.

A second US official, the consulate's economic counselor Jonathan Shrier, also was involved in the incident, Channel 2 reported Tuesday evening. "It is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel".

"The Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in the Jewish faith", Spicer said.

USA ambassador to Israel David Friedman, a staunch backer of illegal settlements, arrived in the country on Monday to take up his post ahead of the visit.

It later annexed East Jerusalem and claims the entire city as its undivided capital.

The comments came on the same day that the Trump administration's new ambassador to Israel arrived in the country and immediately paid a visit to the Western Wall.

In fact, he (Netanyahu) repeated the calls for the move their embassy to Jerusalem today.

At the same time, he urged Israel to hold back on settlement building in the West Bank, a longstanding concern of Palestinians and much of the world.

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