Trump official: Western Wall is part of W. Bank, Netanyahu not invited to go with president

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 15, 2017 20:01
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A dramatic rift was created between Washington and Jerusalem as US President Donald Trump's team as well as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's team both issued harsh statements on Monday evening less than a week prior to the president's much-expected visit to Israel.

The drama unfolded when a senior White House official said that the Western Wall was part of the West Bank and not part of Israel's territory, as Channel 2 reported on Monday.

"The Western Wall is not in your territory," the official reportedly said.

It seems that the official was prompted to make the statement after members of Netanyahu's team asked if Netanyahu could join Trump on the visit to the Western Wall and whether Israeli photographers could document the event, to which the Americans replied that the Western Wall was a "disputed territory."

According to Channel 2, the same official told members of Netanyahu's team that Trump's visit to the Western Wall was a private visit and also added: "No way, why is this your business?"

The official allegedly went on to say: "This is not your territory but rather part of the West Bank."

A source close to the preparations team in Israel told Channel 2 that the statements made by the White House official were received with utter shock by Netanyahu's team. "In Israel they're convinced that this statement is opposed to President Trump's policy as it was expressed recently in his behavior and in his firm resistance to the most recent Security Council resolution. Israel has turned to to the US [to discuss this further]."

And as Netanyahu's team reeled from the shocking and negative remarks that were reportedly made by the US official today, it also faced another worrying report coming from a senior Fox news correspondent who took to social media to claim earlier in the day that the premier had asked US President Donald Trump to keep the US embassy in Tel Aviv and not relocate it to Israel's capital.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office denied the claim on Monday evening, issuing a  statement that said: "The things published on Fox News are a lie."

The premier's office was referring to a tweet posted earlier in the day by Fox News foreign correspondent Connor Powell, who wrote on Twitter that "everyone I've spoken to in DC that has been briefed on #Jerusalem embassy move says #Netanyahu told #Trump not to move embassy at this time."

The firm denial coming from the prime minister's office was backed by a rare and unusual move. The statement released by the office included a transcript from Netanyahu's meeting with Trump in Washington which took place this February, acting as proof that the report provided by Powell was false.

The transcript included the following:

"From a summary of the lunch at the White House: 'President Trump was asked about the embassy and explained that it (moving the embassy) will not cause bloodshed in the region, like he has been warned against (President Trump).' "

Netanyahu on Monday called again on Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem, on the same day that his controversial Israel envoy pick David Friedman arrives in Israel to begin his tenure.

Related Content

Breaking news
August 15, 2018
Natural gas explosion collapses Denver building, people trapped

By REUTERS