Israel Tensions Rise After Trump Official Says Western Wall in West Bank

  • Israel Tensions Rise After Trump Official Says Western Wall in West Bank

Israel Tensions Rise After Trump Official Says Western Wall in West Bank

A sign hangs on a building under construction in Jerusalem congratulating U.S. President Donald Trump, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.

Hours after the interview was broadcast, Netanyahu issued a rare statementresponding to Tillerson's remarks. The statement released by the office included a transcript from Netanyahu's meeting with Trump in Washington which took place this February, acting as proof that the report provided by Powell was false.

"Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem would not only not harm the peace process, rather the opposite".

Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, which called on the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there.

The Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray, is located in east Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel considers the entire city to be its undivided capital.

Trump promised during his presidential campaign to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel's capital and remarked on the pledge in an interview the day before his inauguration, saying: "You know, I'm not a person who breaks promises".

Israel occupied East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Middle East war.

"Israel's position has been stated many times to the American administration and to the world", his office said in a statement. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' opposition to the move is known to Trump, and the positions of the Arab leaders he's met are no secret, either. However, his advance team for the upcoming state visit to Israel might have opened up an even bigger can of worms.

The new US Ambassador, David Friedman, just arrived in Israel and his first visit was to the Western Wall where he said he "prayed for the president".

Major traffic disruptions are expected during Trump's visit to Masada and Bethlehem, hence he is expected to fly over the area in a helicopter while being escorted by the Israeli Police and the IDF.

"The Western Wall is not in your territory", the official reportedly said.

The summary of the meeting, written by then acting National Security Adviser Jacob Nagel, referred to a lunch meeting between Trump and Netanyahu at the White House on Feb.17. The Palestinian diplomatic aim is to convince the United States and the global community that there is a link between the fight against the Islamic State and the Palestinian issue, and therefore, the Arab Peace Initiative must be internationally recognized.

The status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. More so, Abbas was encouraged by the content of his meeting in the Oval Office.

Trump praised the Palestinian Authority for their work on security coordination with Israel and offered to help boost potential economic opportunities for Palestinians.