Trump called Netanyahu on Tuesday
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 18:12
"We appreciate the strong relationship that we have with Israel when it comes to intelligence sharing".
In a statement on Tuesday, Israeli ambassador to the US Ron Dermer reaffirmed that Israel has full confidence in its intelligence-sharing relationship with the US.
There was no immediate comment from the White House.
Trump took to Twitter to insist he had the "absolute right" to share "facts pertaining.to terrorism and airline flight safety" with Russian Federation.
Trump is reportedly planning to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City.
"The president wasn't even aware of where this information came from", said Trump's national security adviser, General H.R. McMaster.
HALEY: "I don't know what the policy of the administration is, but I believe the Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that that is how, you know, we've always seen it and that's how we should pursue it".
The issues arose as Trump's controversial new ambassador to Israel David Friedman presented his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin at a ceremony in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) reportedly asked to join Trump but the USA declined, with one official telling the Israelis that the site is "not your territory". Israel angrily demanded an explanation from the White House, casting a cloud over the highly anticipated visit by the new president. Israel captured the Old City and the rest of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area, in a move that most of the world community does not recognize. It considers the entire city to be its eternal capital and next week will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of what it calls the unification of Jerusalem.
"There's no question that the Israeli confidence has been shaken that some of the most sensitive information they share with us will be properly safeguarded", Dan Shapiro, U.S. ambassador to Israel under Barack Obama and now a senior fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies think tank in Tel Aviv, told AFP. The area now houses the Al Aqsa Mosque, Islam's third-holiest site. The sensitivity about Jerusalem, claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, stems from the role the city plays in the age-old debate about who has a legitimate historical claim to disputed territory. They've often sparked violence. As the nation's envoy to the United Nations, her public comments on foreign policy issues generally are assumed to be statements of US policy.
According to current and former USA officials, the spy provided intelligence involving an active ISIS plot to bring down a passenger jet en route to the United States, with a bomb hidden in a laptop that US officials believe can get through airport screening machines undetected.
Israeli officials have not confirmed the origin of the information, but according to the senior source in Netanyahu's office, intelligence was not discussed. The official wasn't authorized to comment by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.
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