New US ambassador to Israel sworn in amid diplomatic row

New US ambassador to Israel sworn in amid diplomatic row”

Wading into an ongoing diplomatic spat between Israel and the USA over whether the Western Wall is in Israel, White House spokesman Sean Spicer brought his own brand of clarity to the situation, affirming that the holy site is "clearly in Jerusalem".

Ahead of President Trump's upcoming visit to the Jewish state, a USA diplomat reportedly angered Israelis by saying the site was part of the occupied West Bank and thus not under legitimate Israeli jurisdiction. According to reports, Trump will visit the wall alone because his team does not consider the wall a part of Israel.

Trump will be in Israel next week on the first foreign trip since his inauguration - and speculation has mounted he would make an announcement on the embassy's move during the visit.

"We are convinced that this remark is in contradiction to the policy of President Trump as expressed in his fierce opposition to the latest UN Security Council resolution", a direct reference to UN Resolution 2334, which officially spurns Israeli claims to Jerusalem.

For all the world, it looks as if it's still business as usual in Washington, and Trump is letting his staff show as much disrespect to our ally, Israel, as the Obama administration did. Jewish-American Friedman, a strong supporter of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank, entered the residence with a marching band playing.

All three events fall on Jerusalem Day, the day Israel celebrates the reunification of its eternal capital, Jerusalem. "It is a sign of the unbreakable bond between Israel and the USA", he said, according to a statement released by the President's Residence. David Friedman was greeted by Israel's President Reuven Rivlin.

David Friedman, the new USA ambassador to Israel, gave his first interview since he landed in Israel on Monday to - where else?

The debate over whether the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, is part of Israel has boiled over this week.

He continued, "Serving the U.S. as its Ambassador to the State of Israel, is the greatest honor of my life, and I pledge to you to do all that I can to strengthen and enhance the relations between our two great nations - that you accurately described as unbreakable and, I would add, without limits". There have been some signs that the Israeli government, while publicly supportive of moving the embassy, has quietly raised concerns that doing so could enflame the political and security situation.

Israel seized the Western Wall in the 1967 war together with the rest of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

"I prayed for the president and I wished him success, especially on his upcoming trip", Friedman said in a video posted on the U.S. embassy's Twitter feed.

Palestinians say moving the embassy would be a de facto recognition of Israel's control of all Jerusalem.

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. "Those are unworkable suggestions that are never going to be agreed upon by the State of Israel".

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