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Israel 'shocked' over Trump aide's Western Wall comments

19 May 2017, 10:18 | Taylor George

The Prime Minister's Office added in its own statement at the end of the transcript, "This is the clear and consistent position of Prime Minister Netanyahu, which he reiterated today".

Tillerson said Sunday that Trump would seek further guidance on the embassy relocation to determine "whether Israel views it as helpful to a peace initiative or perhaps a distraction". The transfer of the embassy will force the other side to deal with the lie that they are building- that Israel has no connection with Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu challenged USA concerns over moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, in what Haaretz newspaper called his "first public dispute" with the Trump administration.

There are ongoing rumors and undertones that it is the Israeli administration, and not the White House, which is delaying the move.

Israel's right-wing had placed high hopes in Trump's presidency following his pledges of ardent support for Israel and a commitment to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

It later annexed East Jerusalem, and in 1980, Israel unilaterally declared "reunited" Jerusalem as its capital.

The firm denial coming from the prime minister's office was backed by a rare and unusual move.

The White House official did not say whether Netanyahu will be able to join Trump when he visits the Western Wall on his trip.

"Israel has made contact with the USA on this matter", the official said.

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The US, like most of the worldwide community, considers Jerusalem disputed ahead of final-status negotiations.

Since Trump took office last month, Israel has announced plans to build over 6,000 settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem - occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians.

Trump will travel to Israel on May 22 as a part of his first overseas tour.

Israel's Channel 2 reported that during a planning meeting between United States and Israeli officials, the Israelis were told that Trump's visit to the Western Wall was private, Israel did not have jurisdiction in the area and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not welcome to accompany Trump there.

The Palestinians have maintained that an embassy move would kill any prospect for peace.

"We said we don't intend to give any assistance with regard to media and logistics for Trump's visit to the Western Wall", the senior Israeli official said. Trump has said he wants Kushner to lead the peace process. "It makes many of us - who are hoping for a change in U.S. -Israel relations - nervous", Foxman, the current Director of Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, told Jewish Insider "I can not believe that the traditionally pro-Palestinian functionaries in the American Consulate in Jerusalem are making the decisions on the Kotel and Jerusalem". Trump slammed President Barack Obama for not vetoing the resolution, calling it "extremely unfair".

He is also scheduled to visit the Wailing Wall in East Jerusalem and make an address at the Masada.

New US ambassador to Israel David Friedman visits the Western Wall after arriving in the Jewish state on Monday.



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