Top House Republican criticizes McMaster's remarks on Western Wall location

Israeli Channel 2 reported that a senior U.S. official visiting Israel ahead of Trump's visit next week told his Israeli counterparts that holy site was "not your territory.It's part of the West Bank" during a conversation over a possible Trump trip to the Western Wall.

As a practicing Orthodox Jew, Friedman immediately went to pray at Jerusalem's Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, upon arrival.

Israel will be the second stop on Trump's first foreign trip, following Saudi Arabia.

The Israeli official told Haaretz that during their conversation, the diplomatic incident between USA consulate officials in Jerusalem and representatives of the prime minister's office regarding the status of the Western Wall did not come up.

Trump is reportedly planning to visit the Western Wall in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City during his visit.

The U.S. Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 stating, as a matter of U.S. policy, that Jerusalem should remain an undivided city, that it should be recognized as Israel's capital city, and that the American embassy should be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem no later than 1999.

Rabbi Marvin Hier - the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) in Los Angeles - told The Algemeiner on Tuesday he believed that Trump, during his upcoming trip, would end the speculation over American policy regarding Jerusalem. "It's not in your territory - it's part of the West Bank".

It continues, "The Republican National Convention's official 2016 Platform rightly stated, 'We recognize Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the Jewish state and call for the American embassy to be moved there in fulfillment of USA law.' Moreover, we were honored and grateful that you pledged to specifically uphold this policy in response to a request from the American Christian Leaders for Israel (ACLI) coalition during your campaign".

Trump is a skilled negotiator who can help both parties and reach an agreement, said Friedman.

When asked about this on "Meet the Press", Secretary of State Tillerson showed signs that the administration may be going wobbly on the president's promise.

"The statement that the Western Wall is part of the West Bank was received with shock", an official in Netanyahu's office said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Israel seized East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

"When President Trump arrives in Israel, I don't think there will be any doubt over who has title over the Kotel", he said.

A senior White House official responded to the report saying that the comments were "not authorized communication" and that they "do not represent the position of the United States" or the president.

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

The newly appointed USA ambassador to Israel arrived in Jerusalem on Monday.

The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

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