UN Ambassador Nikki Haley says Western Wall belongs to Israel

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US President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office at the White House as First Lady Melania Trump and Queen Rania look on in Washington, DC, on April 5, 2017.

Haley also made it clear that she believes the Western Wall is part of Israel - something both National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer avoided saying after the news broke that Trump was planning to visit one of Judaism's holiest sites while on his first trip overseas as president.

President Trump's supporters in the pro-Israel community were thrown into a tizzy this week after administration operatives made - and then double-downed on - statements questioning Israeli sovereignty over the Western Wall and, later, over Jerusalem itself.

Israeli officials have sought to draw distinctions between the Old City, where the Western Wall is, East Jerusalem, which includes areas surrounding the city, and the West Bank in general, though they were all captured at the same time in the same war.

While the embassy, Iran, Syria, Islamic State, security cooperation, terrorism and other issues are likely to be discussed, Trump's surprising emphasis appears to be on restarting the peace talks, even though the same leaders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas, are dealing with the same pressures and same mistrust.

Israeli TV reported that during a preparatory meeting between United States and Israeli officials, the Israelis were told that Trump's visit to the West Wall was a private visit and that Israel had no mandate in the region and that it was not welcome to accompany Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Trump there. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the global community.

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

The senior White House official said that the reason for the decision is the fact that the Trump administration believes that the prospect of progress in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians seems promising. "He's [President Trump] going to the Western Wall mainly in connection with the theme to connect with three of the world's great religions and to pay homage to each of these religious sites that he's visiting". The relocation is strongly opposed by many US allies as Palestinians also claim the city as their capital.

According to Galey Israel radio station, Trump donated 10,000 dollars to the group.

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

Speaking after the ceremony, Friedman did not directly respond to the dispute over the Western Wall but pledged to "support Israel in every way". The intent to move the U.S. embassy there is seen as the recognition of the city as the capital of an Israeli "state". That night, the President and the First Lady will join the Prime Minister and Mrs. Netanyahu for a private dinner. Referencing the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, the letter noted that Congress had recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called for the U.S. Embassy to be moved there by May 31, 1999.

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