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losangelesnewstoday.com December 14, 2017


Trump to visit Western Wall without Israeli leaders

17 May 2017, 01:40 | Maryann Sutton

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Speaking at a pre-election rally in October in support of Trump on Jerusalem's Mount Zion, Friedman said Trump would fire USA state department "lifers" who refused to move the embassy.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) reportedly asked to join Trump but the US declined, with one official telling the Israelis that the site is "not your territory".

The report led Netanyahu to issue an angry rebuttal. It comes as the two countries are debating Trump's election pledge to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

In Saudi Arabia, Trump will address a gathering of representatives of 50 Muslim nations in what McMaster said would be an "inspiring yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and the president's hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam". However, Palestinians are seeking East Jerusalem as the capital of an eventual state.

Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in 1967 in moves never recognised by the worldwide community.

"It will advance it by righting a historical wrong and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel", Netanyahu said.

Susan Michael, ICEJ USA Director, said she is concerned President Trump was being advised to postpone implementation of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act and to make it instead part of a peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis.

The Western Wall, part of the retaining walls of the Second Temple compound, is the closest point of prayer for Jews to the site of the Temple itself and thus the Jewish people's holiest place of prayer.

According to Israel's Ha'aretz newspaper, Friedman has been president of the American Friends of Beit El Institutions, a group aiming to raise funds for the Beit El settlement's seminary along with other settlement activities.

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His information earlier led to a voluntary recall in Korea of some 171,000 vehicles equipped with the Theta II engine. Both Hyundai and Kia refused to voluntarily act, they said any problems which exist won't compromise safety.

The White House on Monday told The Time of Israel the comments by the official were "unauthorised" and did not represent Trump's policy.

The coverage area of the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Israeli media outlet Walla! reported later that the White House tried to distance itself from the comments, saying that it did not reflect the position of the United States or of the President.

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

The new USA ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, visited the Western Wall on Monday, in a departure from diplomatic protocol.

He also later met with Netanyahu. His inner core of top advisors was populated with enthusiastic proponents of expanding Israeli settlements in the West Bank and, in a highly-contested move, the president appointed a very partisan David Friedman as ambassador to Israel.

Some even called for the end of the idea of a Palestinian state.

He has also advocated moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

Briefing reporters after McMaster Tuesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the Western Wall was "clearly in Jerusalem" but declined to say whether it was a part of Israel.



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