Israel demands explanation from White House after spat over Trump trip

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman center visits the Western Wall the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem’s Old City Monday

The Trump administration seems to have chose to follow that path as well.

Israel's position is that all embassies should be in its capital, Jerusalem, but the global community has maintained that the status of the city should only be decided when there is a peace treaty with the Palestinians, who insist that the eastern half of Jerusalem should be their capital.

Among the main bones of contention are Netanyahu insisting that the Palestinians recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and the Palestinians calling for a halt to Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.

On Monday, Fox News foreign correspondent Connor Powell threw more fuel on the fire when he tweeted, "Everyone I've spoken to in DC that has been briefed on the Jerusalem Embassy move says Netanyahu told Trump not to move the embassy at this time".

However, Israel's Channel 2 reports that while planning the visit, a Trump aide questioned Israel's control over the holy site, located in disputed East Jerusalem.

Alongside his visit to Israel, Trump is expected also to meet with Abbas, possibly in P.A. -administered Bethlehem.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to respond to his comments in a statement, claiming that the measure would help bring about peace!

Israeli daily Haaretz described the conflicting comments as "the first public disagreement" between Netanyahu's government and the Trump administration.

After stopping in Saudi Arabia, Trump will visit both Israel and the Palestinian territories, in a bid to strike the Israeli-Palestinian deal that has eluded his predecessors.

Moving the embassy would likely indicate a change in USA policy towards recognizing Israel's claim to a united Jerusalem.

Israeli and U.S. teams discussing arrangements for President Trump's visit ran into difficulty after a senior White House official told a member of the Israel team that the Western Wall was part of the West Bank.

According to the report, top USA officials close to the president warned that the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital could have broad regional risks, echoing recommendations from leaders in the region, including Jordan's King Abdullah who warned Trump that an embassy move would have a negative impact on the peace process.

He is also scheduled to visit the Wailing Wall in East Jerusalem and make an address at the Masada.

He has also advocated moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

President Obama invoked the last such waiver on December 1 a year ago, so Trump will either have to follow suit on or before June 1, or set in motion steps towards moving the embassy from its current Tel Aviv beachfront location. Earlier this month, White House social media director Dan Scavino Jr. said on Facebook that the president would meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in "Palestine".

The Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of any future Palestinian state.

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