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McMaster declines to say whether Western Wall is in Israel

17 May, 2017, 13:01 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • New US ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch pray at the Western Wall the holiest site where

The Israeli official told Haaretz that during their conversation, the diplomatic incident between US consulate officials in Jerusalem and representatives of the prime minister's office regarding the status of the Western Wall did not come up.

The Israeli Prime Minister's office said it was shocked by the comments and said it had asked the United States to explain what was meant by them. The worldwide community doesn't recognize Israeli's claim of dominion over the eastern part of the city.

In the middle of a White House shakeup, President Trump is shifting to a new course in the Middle East.

It was in the Israeli victory in the Six-Day War, 50 years ago in 1967, defeating the attacking armies of Israel's three neighboring countries - Egypt, Jordan and Syria - that Israel captured East Jerusalem, held by Jordan, and united it with West Jerusalem, held by Israel.

"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. "It would advance it by amending a historic wrong and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem isn't the capital of Israel".

According to Israeli television's Channel 2, an American official reportedly told the Israeli contingent "What are you talking about?"

McMaster's brief comment appeared to be consistent with long-standing USA policy that the status of Jerusalem is an issue to be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

According to Channel 2, Netanyahu's team asked the USA official if the prime minister could join Trump at praying at the Western Wall.

Fire destroys historic synagogue in Manhattan
The congregation closed the synagogue in 2007 after determining it did not have the $3 million to $4 million needed for repairs. The fire broke out around 7 p.m., and took about two hours to get under control, according to the New York Times .

"The president is being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact the peace process", Tillerson said in an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press".

The United States, like most of the global community, has traditionally considered Jerusalem disputed ahead of final-status negotiations.

In fact, he (Netanyahu) repeated the calls for the U.S.to move their embassy to Jerusalem today.

Friedman is an orthodox Jew and a strong supporter of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.

A Jewish-American bankruptcy lawyer, Friedman has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - the basis of years of USA diplomatic efforts.

He has also advocated moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

Less than a week before President Trump lands in Israel, his new Ambassador to Israel David Friedman presented his credentials to Israel's President, Reuven Rivlin, and met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"His love for and commitment to the state of Israel is rock solid and it enjoys his highest priority".


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