US Tells Israeli Officials Western Wall is 'Not Your Territory'

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President Trump's national security advisor dodged questions Tuesday about whether east Jerusalem's Western Wall was in Israeli territory, exposing a potential rift with the Jewish state ahead of the president's planned visit to the holy site.

Israeli officials have sought to draw distinctions between the Old City, where the Western Wall is, East Jerusalem, which includes areas surrounding the city, and the West Bank in general, though they were all captured at the same time in the same war.

A ceremony was held at the President's Residency in Jerusalem, a day after Friedman arrived in Israel and days before President Donald Trump's regional visit.

McMaster, speaking to reporters Tuesday, declined to confirm whether the wall is part of Israel.

The angry exchanges took place while Israeli officials asked whether Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should accompany Trump as he visits the Jerusalem site, which is the holiest location where Jews are allowed to pray in the city.

Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the United States, claimed that moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "will cause [Palestine] to understand that Israel will be here forever with Jerusalem as its capital", cited by the Times of Israel.

In an unusual move, Netanyahu also partially released the minutes of a meeting he had with Trump in Washington in February, showing he had pressed the new president to move the embassy.

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The site is also the home of the Al Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. Jerusalem is in Israel.

The Israeli flag waves over the Western Wall.

Bennett said he was not sure why Trump has changed his rhetoric.

The former bankruptcy lawyer has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the basis of years of USA peace efforts.

Shortly after Trump's visit to the region, he will have to make a decision whether or not to waive a 1995 law that mandates the relocation of the embassy but allows the president to exercise six-month delays on national security grounds. "The tricky part is where the Palestinians come in on this and where the Israelis comes in on this", Haley said.

"We've been very clear what our position is and what we would like to see done, but we're not looking to provoke anyone when everyone's playing really nice", the official said.

"Obviously I believe that the capital should be Jerusalem and the embassy should be moved to Jerusalem because if you look at all their government is in Jerusalem", she said.

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