McMaster declines to say whether Western Wall is in Israel

Rabbi Marvin Hier delivering his benediction at the inauguration of US President Donald Trump in January. "It is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel".

National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster pauses during a briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Later, Trump defended the move, asserting that as commander in chief, he has the "absolute right" to do so.

The Western Wall is part of Israel, US Ambassador to the UN Nikkey Haley said on Tuesday as she took a number of stands that appears to differ from the Trump Administration.

The rampant television, radio, newspaper, and Internet news reports framed the official as being associated with Trump's delegation as if the individual were a member of the administration who came to Israel to help prepare for next week's presidential visit.

Likewise, the Trump team has also informed Israeli officials that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be allowed to accompany President Trump on his visit next Wednesday to the Western Wall, which is expected to follow his visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and his meeting with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, both in Bethlehem. President will also pay a visit to Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial.

Israel's right-wing had placed high hopes in Trump's presidency following his pledges of ardent support for Israel and a commitment to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem. It considers the entire city to be its eternal capital and next week will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of what it calls the unification of Jerusalem.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said Tuesday she believes the nation's embassy in Israel should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.




Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state. They've often sparked violence.

McMaster's brief comment, however, appeared to be consistent with longstanding United States policy that the status of Jerusalem is an issue to be decided in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

US presidents of both parties have repeatedly waived a USA law requiring the embassy be moved to Jerusalem.

A ceremony was held at the President's Residency in Jerusalem, a day after Friedman arrived in Israel and days before President Donald Trump's regional visit.

"We look forward to working with the new administration to find new ways and to think of new ideas, of how to move forward and build trust between Israelis and Palestinians", he added.

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He didn't really need the transcript, in my opinion.

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