Christian leaders urge Trump to declare Jerusalem as Israel's capital

Administration officials have since dodged the specific question of whether or not the US recognizes the Western Wall as part of Israel, though legally speaking the answer has always been no.

The controversy arose from discussions about whether the United States could agree to let Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompany President Trump when he visits the Western or "Wailing" Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Monday.

Our president believes he can unlock the door to Mideast peace. I share in this desire as do the citizens of Israel.

On the campaign trail, Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

For Israelis, all of Jerusalem, including the Old City and its eastern suburbs, is their "eternal and indivisible" capital.

He is expected to become the first sitting U.S. president to visit the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray and located in east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 and later annexed.

Backbencher Oren Hazan nudged himself into the line of Israeli dignitaries greeting Trump upon his arrival at the airport in Tel Aviv.

Days of Israeli outrage later, the White House hasn't changed their mind. But there's been - it's an issue that's had serious consideration. A pair of veteran Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, who endured repeated failures, expressed rare optimism about President Donald Trump's efforts to strike a Mideast peace deal. "We will get it done..."

"It is something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years", the United States of America president said at the time.

A raft of scandals to hit Trump's administration-including an investigation into Russia's contacts with his campaign team, including his former national security adviser Michael Flynn-has permeated Israeli society, according to Diskin. "So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is".

The Palestinian negotiator dismissed reports that Israeli and Palestinian delegations would meet later in the week, following Trump's visit to the Holy Land. There will be no way of gleaning from public statements or from observing public interactions between Trump and Israeli officials the extent to which the Mossad is going to be more reluctant to share its most closely-held intelligence on other players in the region with the White House going forward.

In a statement released Saturday titled: "A call for unity and assimilation with our fearless prisoners", Ramallah-based Islamist and nationalist factions urged the public to join rallies to express their rejection to the resumption of peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel under U.S. sponsorship.

The unpredictable president arrives having already upturned expectations when it comes to the decades-old Middle East conflict, giving Palestinians more hope than they may have anticipated and disappointing right-wing Israelis who heralded his election. Trump's pledge to change the bitter tone of the US relationship with Israel that had developed under Obama will not prevent Israel from trying to manipulate him, former USA and Israeli officials said.

  • Leroy Wright