President Trump's aide comment on West Bank shock Israel

Posted May 18, 2017

It's a little late for that Trump organization! However, it later emerged that the official was David Berns, a political counselor at the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem who took up the role during the Obama administration.

On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu again insisted that he had asked Donald Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem, responding to media reports which stated the contrary.

And with the U.S. Embassy and the Western Wall apparently on the itinerary, what Trump does in Jerusalem will be eagerly watched by many.

Trump said at a news conference with Netanyahu in February that his administration was looking at moving the embassy "with great care".

"Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel".

The Palestinians want al-Quds as the capital of their promised future state. His walkback on the alliance with Israel was questioned by leaders of both parties, who were disappointed that he appears to be breaking his promise to recognize Jerusalem (and the Western Wall) as part of Israel.

NY [U.S.], May 16:: A rift has been created between Washington and Jerusalem after an American diplomat described the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City as part of the West Bank.

Netanyahu's office expressed shock, said an official speaking anonymously because he was not authorised to discuss the matter.

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The Times of Israel reported that the unnamed official told an Israeli official that the Western Wall is "not part of Israel". "His love for and commitment to the State of Israel is rock-solid and it enjoys his highest priority", he added.

The Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City (right) and the Dome of the Rock above.

Why? Because the Western Wall is in East Jerusalem, which the Israelis seized from the Jordanians in 1967 along with the West Bank and which is not officially recognized as Israeli territory.

"The comments about the Western Wall were not authorized communication and they do not represent the position of the United States and certainly not of the president", the White House told the Israeli paper.

He also later met with Netanyahu.

Friedman, a Jewish-American lawyer, voiced his reservations regarding the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in a sharp deviation from the U.S.' long-held stance. The relocation is strongly opposed by many USA allies as the Palestinians also claim the city as their capital.

"The firm denial coming from the prime minister's office was backed by a rare and unusual move", the Jerusalem Post reported.