Trump doesn't plan to use Israel trip to announce embassy move

WASHINGTON (CNN) - H.R. McMaster, national security adviser to President Donald Trump, declined to say Tuesday whether the Western Wall is in Israel, furthering a controversy over the site ahead of Trump's visit to the country next week.

At the briefing, Gen. McMaster was asked twice whether the Trump Administration recognizes the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (the holiest site in Judaism) as part of Israel.

The Western Wall - also known as the Wailing Wall - was occupied along with rest of east Jerusalem in the 1967 war in a move not recognised by the worldwide community.

"I am so grateful to President Trump for giving me the opportunity, for having confidence in my abilities, and most importantly for sending me off this past week with the unequivocal and unambiguous mandate to support the State of Israel in every way, and in all ways".

WASHINGTON (AP) - Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump's United Nations ambassador, waded into a diplomatic minefield on Wednesday by asserting that the Western Wall is part of Israel, a deviation from USA policy.

He spoke one day after two United States officials in Jerusalem reportedly told Israelis that the Western Wall was in the West Bank and was, therefore, not under Israeli sovereignty. Israel's claims over Jerusalem are not recognized and should be solved through negotiations with the Palestinians, the official explained.

Speaking to the Algemeiner on Tuesday, Rabbi Marvin Hier - the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in Los Angeles - said he believes Trump will reaffirm his stance that "Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel".

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The Trump administration reportedly will not be moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv for now.

The Times of Israel reported that the unnamed official told an Israeli official that the Western Wall is "not part of Israel". "It's legitimate for him [Trump] to hear everyone before he makes his final decision", said the mayor.

The Israeli flag waves over the Western Wall.

When he was first put forward as an ambassador, Friedman looked forward to the relocation of the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which Trump had promised while campaigning for the presidency.

"These comments were not authorized by the White House". Spicer said the wall's status would be discussed during the president's upcoming trip next week to Israel.

Sovereignty over the city remains a striking point in peace talks. McMaster did however confirm that no Israeli leaders would accompany Trump on his visit to the site. "It's clearly in Jerusalem", he told reporters. "We'll move the embassy, just give us time", the official was quoted as saying.

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