Cruz: Western Wall 'part of Israel' & Jerusalem Israel's capital

U.S. Ambassador David Melech Friedman prays from a Hebrew prayer book at the Western Wall before starting his term in Israel under the Trump administration

A row erupted Tuesday over United States policy toward Israel days ahead of a visit by President Donald Trump, with fresh questions raised over the White House's approach to the ultra-sensitive status of Jerusalem.

H.R. McMaster said Trump will say a prayer next week at the Western Wall, which is revered as the holiest site where Jews can pray.

Keep in mind that this is coming after a meeting between Trump and Netanyahu in Washington in February of this year, where, during a press conference, Trump inexplicably turned to his guest and casually suggested that he'd like for Israel to stop building settlements on the West Bank, for the time being, catching everybody quite off guard.

One US official said the Western Wall was part of the West Bank, Channel Two reported. At the same time, Israel will be celebrating the anniversary of that occupation's start during Trump's visit, while trying to maintain the myth of an "eternal, undivided city" that isn't under occupation at all.

Cruz has long pushed for the president and the past administration to make good on promises to move the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The President will meet with Palestinian President Abbas in Bethlehem and with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its indivisible capital, a claim that is not recognized internationally. He said the topic would be discussed between Trump and his counterparts during next week's trip. He presented his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.

"The Western Wall is one of holiest sites in the Jewish faith, and clearly in Jerusalem", Spicer said, adding that the situation is complicated.




In another sign the White House is proceeding cautiously, Trump's ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, plans to work out of the current embassy in Tel Aviv rather than out of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, as some had urged him to do.

Friedman arrived Monday and immediately visited the Western Wall, praying there and kissing the sacred site.

Israel captured the Old City and the rest of east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war.

The former USA administration of Barack Obama was deeply opposed to Israel's expansion of the settlements and in December withheld its veto from a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the policy.

Israel objected and sought to make it a public visit with Netanyahu escorting him, which USA diplomats rejected, with one noting Israel doesn't have sovereignty over the Western Wall. "His love for and commitment to the State of Israel is rock-solid and enjoys his highest priority".

"Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem would not only not harm the peace process, rather the opposite".

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