Haley: 'I Believe the Western Wall Is Part of Israel'

Trevor Jackson
May 18, 2017

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster twice declined to say whether the Western Wall was in Israel, calling it "a policy decision".

President Donald Trump will visit the Western Wall unaccompanied by Israeli leaders in order to emphasize the overarching message of his overseas tour: unifying the three Abrahamic religions against the common threat of terrorism.

The Western Wall sits in Old Jerusalem, which the Israelis captured in 1967.

Trump's signal could be as symbolic as identifying the city as "Jerusalem, Israel", on official White House documents and photographs while he is there, according to sources familiar with planning for the trip.

David Friedman (L), the newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Israel, meets with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at his residence in Yerushalayim, Tuesday.

The diplomats also told the Israelis that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was not welcome to join Trump there, Channel 2 reported.

The rival claims to Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and no countries now have their embassies in occupied Jerusalem, instead basing them in Israel's commercial capital Tel Aviv.

Friedman said that Trump had no "specific political plan or roadmap" on Israeli-Palestinian peace and promised that Trump would not demand Israel to freeze construction in the settlements.

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The new USA ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, stepped out of the diplomatic protocol by visiting the Western Wall on Monday. That policy, that "the Western Wall is in Jerusalem", hasn't changed, a State Department official said following Haley's comments.

Palestinians want the capital of their future independent state to be Jerusalem, which is home to the al-Aqsa Mosque - the third-holiest site in Islam.

However, Trump has indicated he is disposed toward recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"We will", Friedman assured the prime minister.

He also congratulated Friedman for visiting the Western Wall on Monday, saying "it was a strong gesture of solidarity". He made no reference to suggestions the United States embassy might be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"For violence to occur there could be any reason or no reason and if we, God forbid, because of fear of violence wouldn't do the right things, there would never be Israel, there would never be a reunited city", Barkat said. The relocation is strongly opposed by many US allies as the Palestinians also claim the city as their capital.

He said the Arab countries have adopted a clear position that supports the Palestinian cause during the 28th Arab Summit on March 29, affirming that it would be the same position that Trump would hear during his meetings in Riyadh. In 1980, Israel declared "reunited" Jerusalem its capital in a move unrecognized by major states.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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