White House disavows staffer’s comments on Jerusalem Western Wall

A White House official said to reporters Monday night that remarks by a Trump administration staffer rejecting the Western Wall as Israeli territory were “unauthorized” and “do not represent the position of the United States and certainly not of President Donald Trump.” The remark that the Western Wall “is not your territory, it’s part of the West Bank” came from a member of the American staff preparing President Trump’s visit to Israel next week over whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would join the president on his visit to the Western Wall. The remark caused shocked anger in Jerusalem and the Prime Minister’s Office asked the White House for an explanation.

Later that day, the new US ambassador David Friedman on arrival in Israel drove straight to the Western Wall to pray at “the holiest place in the entire Jewish world.” Trump is due to visit Israel on May 23 after Saudi Arabia. His trip also includes the Vatican and Brussels for NATO and G7 summits.

 

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