Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

Israel urges USA to transfer embassy to Jerusalem

It was the latest sign of the Israeli right's growing disenchantment with Trump after having rejoiced in his election.

However, the six-month extension of the waiver will end on the first of June, leaving Trump before two choices: either to extend it or to allow for the embassy relocation.

Netanyahu's office released quotes from summaries of the prime minister's meetings with Trump to back up its side.

The administration's promise, which has yet to be fulfilled, comes just as President Trump is set to jet off to the Middle East for a week to meet with Arab, Israeli, and European leaders.

"Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem will not harm the peace process".

However, the worldwide community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future independent state.

Palestinian and other Arab leaders have warned the Trump administration that moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem would risk stirring popular anger and possible unrest, as the Palestinians view the city's eastern half as their capital and because of the city's significance to Muslims.

Trump was right the first time: the us embassy in Israel should be located in that country's capital, as it is, to my knowledge, in every other country in the world.

Israeli and USA 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.

"It will do the opposite", his office said in a statement. It added: "Israel is certain that the comment contradicts President Trump's policy". The report said the Americans rebuffed the request, with one official telling the Israelis the site is "not your territory".

A White House spokesman later told CNN: "These comments were not authorized by the White House".

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The United States, like most of the global community, has traditionally considered Jerusalem disputed ahead of final-status negotiations.

The now-confirmed new ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is due to take up his duties from Monday.

He also later met with Netanyahu.

In December, the Obama administration failed to veto a United Nations resolution that said Israel had "no validity" in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) in the eastern sector of Jerusalem.

Although the battle against terrorist groups and what Tillerson called "Iran's destabilizing activities in the region" are expected to be the main focus, given the invitation list Trump will likely also hear strong-held views on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and Jerusalem in particular.

Another says, more simply: "The embassy - the PM supports moving it".

Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish men participate in the Cohanim Priestly caste blessing during the Jewish holiday of Passover, in front of the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's old city, Monday, April 25, 2016.

"His love for and commitment to the state of Israel is rock solid and it enjoys his highest priority".

The controversy is over the Western Wall, or Kotel.

It's unclear whether Tillerson is reflecting the viewpoint of the president, or simply discussing how he sees the embassy move in the grand scheme of his vision for the Middle East.

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