Israel wants White House to explain USA official's Western Wall comment

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 17, 2017

However, Coalition chairman David Bitan said Monday that Netanyahu was not prepared to pay the political price the Trump Administration would demand in exchange for moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

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.

"Israel's position has been stated many times to the American government and to the world", he said. Meanwhile, the Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995, which called on the United States to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move its embassy there. It has long urged the global community to relocate embassies there. Palestinian leaders said they would withdraw their recognition of Israel as a state if the Trump administration pursued such a move.

U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as they deliver a statement at the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., May 3, 2017. He has yet to make any concrete moves toward carrying out that promise.

Since Trump took office last month, Israel has announced plans to build over 6,000 settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem - occupied territories claimed by the Palestinians.

Israeli Prime Minister Bennjamin Netanyahu on Sunday responded to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's noncommittal statements over moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Major traffic disruptions are expected during Trump's visit to Masada and Bethlehem, hence he is expected to fly over the area in a helicopter while being escorted by the Israeli Police and the IDF.

President Abbas, who is being hosted by India ahead of PM Modi's first ever visit to Israel, said New Delhi's role will have significance as it has good relations with both the countries.

Tillerson's remarks were the first time that a senior figure in the President Trump administration has publicly raised the possibility that moving the embassy to Jerusalem could harm the new administration's aspirations to renew the peace process and reaching an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.

Zomlot suggested, however, that could be a positive if Trump can "disrupt" old assumptions about the Middle East peace process that have failed in the past.

The former bankruptcy lawyer has expressed scepticism over the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the basis of years of U.S. peace efforts.

President Obama invoked the last such waiver on December 1 previous year, so Trump will either have to follow suit on or before June 1, or set in motion steps towards moving the embassy from its current Tel Aviv beachfront location.

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