Israel wants White House to explain U.S. official’s Western Wall comment

Source: Reuters

By Ori Lewis | JERUSALEM

Israel wants the White House to explain why a U.S. diplomat preparing President Donald Trump’s visit to Jerusalem said Judaism’s Holy Western Wall in its Old City is part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, an Israeli official said on Monday.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its indivisible capital, a claim that is not recognized internationally, and the Western Wall – the holiest prayer site for Jews – is part of territory it captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported that during a planning meeting between U.S. and Israeli officials, the Israelis were told that Trump’s visit to the Western Wall was private, Israel did not have jurisdiction in the area and that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not welcome to accompany Trump there.

Trump’s administration has been sending mixed messages in its dealings with a right-wing Israeli government that had hoped for a more sympathetic attitude from the Republican president after a rocky relationship with his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

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