Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
U.S. | By Vera Richards

White House Dodges Western Wall Questions, Says It's 'In Jerusalem'

White House Dodges Western Wall Questions, Says It's 'In Jerusalem'

"We are convinced that this remark is in contradiction to the policy of President Trump", the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

President Trump's upcoming visit to Israel is coinciding with Israeli celebration of the 50th anniversary of the military capture of East Jerusalem, which they present as having "unified" their eternal capital city.

It also did not deal with the status of the Western Wall, the unnamed Israeli official told Haaretz.

"President Trump is still seriously considering moving the Embassy to Jerusalem in honor of Israel's 69th birthday", Pence said then.

The senior official noted that the call did not revolve around the reports stating that Trump leaked classified intelligence information in his meeting with the Russian foreign minister last week.

The debate over whether the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, is part of Israel has boiled over this week.

Hier's remarks came after a press briefing earlier in the day by Trump's National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who declined to give direct answers when pressed as to whether the USA regards the Western Wall as part of Israel.

The Israeli government is not surprised by Trump's decision, but they are still very disappointed.

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The letter, organized by the American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI), overseen by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem's us branch, cited the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, which acknowledges Jerusalem as "the seat of Israel's President, Parliament, and Supreme Court, and the site of numerous government ministries and social and cultural institutions. So much of what goes on is in Jerusalem and I think we have to see that for what it is", she continued. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, however, said Trump still has not decided on the matter.

Then, according to the Channel 2 report, two members of the United States team told the Israeli team to leave.

"The firm denial coming from the prime minister's office was backed by a rare and unusual move", the Jerusalem Post reported.

On Tuesday, White House Spokesman Sean Spicer affirmed that the holy site is "clearly in Jerusalem".

Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that President Trump called Jordan's King Abdullah II on Tuesday, and spoke shortly thereafter with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Asked point blank if the Western Wall was part of Israel, Spicer gave a tortured response.

McMaster said Trump - who is due to arrive in Israel for a 24-hour visit next week - wasn't aware where the information about ISIS threats to airliners originated or how it was gathered.

Palestinians see settlements as a severe impediment to statehood.

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