Cruz: Western Wall 'part of Israel' & Jerusalem Israel's capital

David Friedman the new American ambassador to Israel kisses the Western Wall in Jerusalem

David Friedman the new American ambassador to Israel kisses the Western Wall in Jerusalem

The exchange, reported by Israel's Channel 2 television, is threatening to create a fierce diplomatic storm as Israel gets ready for a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump later this week.

"Continuing the administration's unkept promise on Israel, during his press conference today, national security adviser H.R. McMaster declined to say that the Western Wall is part of Israeli territory", Jordan Schachtel writes. But while most of the world believes Israel to be illegally occupying the West Bank, the questions of both East and West Jerusalem were murkier, because the world continued to believe that the city should be global and wasn't rightfully Israeli, Jordanian or Palestinian.

"No Israeli leader will join President Trump to the Western Wall", McMaster told reporters, where he said the president will "pray", but then went on to emphasize that his visit to the site was just part of a much bigger picture.

Israel will be the second stop on Trump's first foreign trip, following Saudi Arabia.

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.

"We have praised his public stances concerning Israel but he seems to be backtracking at this point on things like moving the (U.S.) embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem", Klein told NBC News, adding he was also disappointed when Trump invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House.

The remark that the Western Wall "is not your territory, it's part of the West Bank" reportedly arose during conversations between an advance team planning Trump's visit to Israel next week and officials in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

Friedman has run a nonprofit that raises millions of dollars for a yeshiva that also funds several schools and news organizations in Beit El, a town of 7,000 people north of the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Israel recaptured east Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount in the Old City, in the 1967 war.

But Trump has said Jewish settlements "don't help the [peace] process". Friedman, who owns an apartment in Jerusalem, is expected to live in the US ambassador's official residence in the Tel Aviv suburb of Herziliya.

"The conversation dealt with a few issues that needed to be concluded regarding President Trump's visit to Israel", said the source.

Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital in 1995, but presidents for decades have treated the status of Jerusalem as unresolved.

In the middle of a White House shakeup, President Trump is shifting to a new course in the Middle East. And does the President believe that the Western Wall is part of Israel? "Moving the embassy would force the other side to contend with the lie they've constructed - that Israel has no connection to Jerusalem - and will cause them to understand that Israel will be here forever with Jerusalem as its capital".

Rivlin also mentioned that Israel was looking forward to hosting President Donald Trump next week, expressing "a sign of the unbreakable bond between Israel and the U.S.".

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