Israel Demands Explanation Over US Official's Western Wall Comments

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Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem after the 1967 occupation, and neither the U.S. nor much of anyone recognizes that as legitimate.

Two Israeli intelligence officers told BuzzFeed on Tuesday that Israel had indeed shared specific intel with the United States regarding the plot. Haley was much more direct in our interview.

The clash erupted over preparations for President Trump's visit to the Kotel, which Netanyahu had asked to join.

Friedman spoke with Israel Hayom ahead of Trump's scheduled visit to Israel next week, now clouded by revelations that Trump gave sensitive Israeli information to Russian officials at a White House meeting, potentially risking the American-Israeli alliance.

During his presidential campaign, Trump promised to move the "American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem".

White House press secretary Sean Spicer refused to comment on the New York Times report in a Tuesday press briefing.

U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster declined to say whether the U.S. regards the Western Wall as part of Israel during a press conference at the White House Tuesday.

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Trump's national security adviser sidestepped questions about whether Jerusalem's Western Wall is part of Israel, saying it "sounds like a policy decision". The wall is one of the holiest sites in Judaism, and it's visited by thousands of Jews from all over the world each day. "It's clearly in Jerusalem".

However, the global community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future independent state. The rival claims to the capital city have often sparked violence.

"The Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that is how we have always seen it and that is how we should pursue it", Haley told the Christian Broadcasting Network in a video interview.

However, Trump has indicated he is disposed toward recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Although his campaign pledge to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem seems to be on hold, US officials have hinted that Trump could make some other gesture to show Washington's new thinking on the city's status.

Israel captured the Old City, along with the rest of east Jerusalem, in the 1967 Mideast war.

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

Previous administrations have declined to identify Jerusalem as being in Israel, out of concern for the diplomatic repercussions.

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