Israeli embassy row erupts again before Don's visit
- Author: Leroy Wright May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 0:52
President Donald Trump heads to Israel next week where he is poised to make history by becoming the first sitting president to visit the Western Wall - one of the holiest sites in Judaism.
Netanyahu responded by saying on Monday that "not only would moving the embassy not harm the peace process, but to the contrary".
President Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, a senior source in the prime minister's office told ABC News.
"I know that they are trying to fix that and get that taken care of, we have always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel", Haley said. This fueled Israeli outrage and a bunch of White House hand-wringing about that not being their policy.
Refusal of US officials to visit al-Buraq (the Western Wall) in Jerusalem's Old City accompanied by Israeli officials is a good start for US President Donald Trump's role in the region, Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said Wednesday.
"They do not reflect the US position, and certainly not the President's position", a White House spokesman said.
"It will advance it by righting a historical wrong and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel", Netanyahu said.
An official in Netanyahu's office said on Monday that Israel has contacted Washington about the matter. His walkback on the alliance with Israel was questioned by leaders of both parties, who were disappointed that he appears to be breaking his promise to recognize Jerusalem (and the Western Wall) as part of Israel.
Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said the Western Wall belongs to Israel and Israel's capital should be in Jerusalem.
"The Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in the Jewish faith".
He has also advocated breaking with decades of precedent by moving the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to the divided city of Jerusalem, a prospect deeply alarming to Palestinians who see the occupied eastern half of the city as their future capital.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat waded into the ongoing saga of the location of the USA embassy in Israel, telling reporters at City Hall that it should be moved from Tel Aviv to the capital city, even at the cost of violence, the Jerusalem Post reported.
It will be a hard issue to navigate on both sides, as Trump is eager to play up his pro-Israel bonafides during the visit, and pointing out the occupation doesn't help with that.
Despite the mutual appreciation, it is unclear whether settlement-friendly Friedman will in fact work out of the USA embassy building in Tel Aviv. Those prayers were answered 50 years ago next week as Jerusalem was reunified by Israeli forces in the Six-Day War - and Jews across the globe will celebrate this anniversary. She said during a televised briefing, 'The President has not made a decision yet, and is still reviewing that'.
Also, East Jerusalem is where the Palestinians want to situate the capital of their independent state.