US Ambassador Friedman briefs Trump on Temple Mount crisis

The president has yet to make a public statement on the violence that erupted in July.

July 31, 2017 18:29
1 minute read.
US Ambassador David Friedman at the knesset

US Ambassador David Friedman at the knesset. (photo credit: MATTY STERN, US EMBASSY TEL AVIV)

WASHINGTON -- America's ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has debriefed President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on a crisis over the Temple Mount that gripped Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians earlier this month.

Friedman is in town as part of a "long-planned trip," one White House official told The Jerusalem Post. But his meeting on Monday with the president, his senior White House adviser and special representative for international negotiations naturally focused on the events of recent days.

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"In addition to a variety of meetings, [Friedman] will be meeting with the president, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt to discuss the events that transpired in the region over the past two weeks," the official said earlier on Monday. The meeting took place midday.

Violence flared mid-July after Israel implemented new security measures at entrances to the Temple Mount, also referred to as Haram al-Sharif, as a response to a shooting attack that took place at the site on July 14.

Trump and his team managed the situation quietly, speaking with Israeli, Saudi, and Jordanian leadership to diffuse the cascading crisis. Leaders from all three nations have praised Trump in recent days for his assistance. The president has not spoken publicly on the matter.

Convening his cabinet before meeting with Friedman, Trump did vaguely reference a "situation" in the Middle East that has been preoccupying his time.

"We have some interesting situations that we’ll handle: North Korea, Middle East, lots of problems that we inherited from previous administrations," the president said. "But we’ll take care of them. We’ll take care of them very well."

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