President Trump's aide comment on West Bank shock Israel

Claudine Rigal
Mai 19, 2017

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerged from a meeting with Friedman saying: "we spoke about our countries' friendship, and I told him that the USA embassy must be moved to Jerusalem, as must all other embassies".

He also congratulated Friedman for visiting the Western Wall on Monday, saying "it was a strong gesture of solidarity".

Trump will visit the wall on his trip to Israel next week, the first sitting US president to do so.

However, the global community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future independent state.

The Trump administration also widened the daylight between itself and the hard-right Israeli government while pivoting on the key issue of ownership of the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem.

On Monday the Times of Israel reported that a senior member of the USA delegation making preparations for President Trump's upcoming visit to Israel argued that the Western Wall was, "not your territory".

Friedman, a Jewish-American lawyer, voiced his reservations regarding the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in a sharp deviation from the U.S.' long-held stance.

"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 we've always seen it and that's how we should pursue it...we've always thought the Western Wall was part of Israel".

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967.

"We are convinced that this statement is contrary to the policy of President Trump".

Although Netanyahu has gone on record many times asking the USA to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Fox News journalist Conor Powell claimed that ahead of Trump's upcoming visit to Israel, Netanyahu has been secretly begging the United States president to keep the American embassy where it is, prompting a vehement refutation of the claim by Tel Aviv, according to the Times of Israel. It's clearly in Jerusalem.

The White House said the comment did not represent the president's position.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: his office expressed shock at the USA team's position. The President's first stop on the trip is Saudi Arabia, which will be directly followed by the visit to Israel and then to the Vatican, Brussels, Belgium and Sicily, Italy.

"The President is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact a peace process", Tillerson told NBC's Meet the Press. He said Israel must oppose attempts to establish a Palestinian state and insist on Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem "forever".

The lack of clarity over the status of Jerusalem is a key reason why all foreign embassies in Israel are in Tel Aviv.

"5. The embassy - the PM supports moving it".

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