Top Trump aide won't say if Western Wall is part of Israel

Geneva Matthews
May 18, 2017

The call was not listed on the prime minister's schedule or on the White House schedule, but Haaretz reported it was Trump who called Netanyahu after the US president spoke with Jordan's King Abdullah.

The Western Wall, together with the Temple Mount complex and the eastern part of Jerusalem, was captured during the 1967 Six Day War.

Spicer's stating that the wall is "clearly in Jerusalem" begs the question: Does the Trump administration consider Jerusalem itself to be in Israel?

An Israeli team that joined USA officials on a scouting trip Monday requested that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompany Trump and his family to the site.

Senior officials in the US State Department, Department of Defence, and US intelligence services have urged the White House not to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

A White House spokesperson quickly tried to downplay the episode, stating that "the comments about the Western Wall were not authorized communication and they do not represent the position of the United States and certainly not of the president".

Trump repeatedly promised to move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during his presidential campaign, and Vice President Mike Pence said this month that the president is giving it "serious consideration".

The Texas senator's statement follows statements from three separate Trump administration officials refusing to say whether the Western Wall in (Israel's capital city of) Jerusalem is part of Israel.

"That sounds like a policy decision", he said to reporters. The Old City is also home to the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam. The relocation is strongly opposed by many US allies as Palestinians also claim the city as their capital.

Speaking after the ceremony, Friedman did not directly respond to the dispute over the Western Wall but pledged to "support the state of Israel in every way".

But even before Trump sets foot in the Holy Land, he appears to have been tripped-up by his advance team. Jerusalem is in Israel. Despite the Kotel's significance in Judaism and Israel's control over a united Jerusalem, the global community-including the US -does not officially recognize the Western Wall as part of Israel.

He also called on Israel not to fear such a scenario, saying, "I don't think any one of us should be concerned about the potential threat of violence".

Trump has placed a high priority on trying to broker a peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Obviously I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look at all their government is in Jerusalem".

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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