Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Netanyahu Claims Embassy Move To Jerusalem Would 'Advance' Peace Process

The Western Wall - also known as the Kotel - is the last remnant of the ancient Jewish Second Temple, and the closest that Jews can get to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

For months Israeli and regional media outlets have speculated that while Israel has long sought embassies to move from Tel Aviv and surrounding areas to its declared capital, the government worries that should President Trump make good on his campaign promise to move the US mission the benefits could be outweighed by negative consequences.

Israel has long pressed nations to move their embassies to Jerusalem; Palestinians, and much of the global community, view east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

President Donald Trump may have angered the Israeli government just days before his trip to the Middle East. Later on Saturday, the White House disavowed the remarks, saying they do not reflect USA position.

Trump promised to relocate the USA embassy as one of his campaign pledges.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

Israel's Channel 2 reported Monday that the us delegation rejected Israeli requests that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and an Israeli TV crew accompany President Donald Trump on his visit to the Western Wall. "It makes many of us - who are hoping for a change in U.S. -Israel relations - nervous", Foxman, the current Director of Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, told Jewish Insider "I can not believe that the traditionally pro-Palestinian functionaries in the American Consulate in Jerusalem are making the decisions on the Kotel and Jerusalem".

David Friedman, the newly minted U.S. ambassador to Israel who has long argued for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and was slated to begin living and working in Jerusalem from the start of his tenure, is expected to begin his post this week working out of the United States embassy in Tel Aviv, according to sources familiar with his plans.

A bankruptcy lawyer by profession, Friedman has no previous diplomatic experience.

Also on Tuesday, Trump's controversial choice for ambassador David Friedman presented his credentials in a ceremony at President Reuven Rivlin's residence in Jerusalem.

He showed little concern about Israeli settlement construction on occupied lands claimed by the Palestinians, expressed support for recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and vowed to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

An official in Netanyahu's office said the USA comment was "received with astonishment" and that Israel had asked the White House for an explanation. "On the contrary, it would advance it by correcting an historical injustice and by shattering the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel", the statement read.

President Donald Trump is to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the holy Christian city Bethlehem in a symbolic visit to the West Bank town at the end of May.

Adelson disagrees with the notion the embassy move should be tied to progress in the Mideast peace process, sources informed Axios.

The status of Jerusalem remains one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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