Israel in dispute with United States days before Trump's first visit

US President Donald Trump escorts Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his car following meetings in the West Wing of the White House

US President Donald Trump escorts Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to his car following meetings in the West Wing of the White House

The spat reportedly erupted during preparations for Trump's visit to the region next week.

The new United States ambassador to Israel has been sworn in at a ceremony in Jerusalem. "Trump has made it clear on so many occasions that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel, so it would be quite a reversal for him to state differently on this occasion".

The Trump administration has vowed to do this multiple times but has demurred on the highly controversial move since assuming office.

At Friedman's swearing in, Prime Minister Netanyahu also referred ot the Western Wall.

The Israelis had forwarded the request for the prime minister to accompany the president at the Western Wall, and the reply was a rude rejection.

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. "The statement that the Western Wall is in an area in the West Bank was received with shock", an official told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.

Less than a week before US President Donald Trump arrives in Israel, the White House has been forced on to the defensive over reported comments by an American diplomat describing the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City - one of Judaism's holiest sites - as being in the West Bank. "We've always thought that the Western Wall was part of Israel".

The National Security Advisor was asked to respond to reports yesterday that US officials told the Israelis that the Western Wall is part of disputed territory in the West Bank and not under Israeli sovereignty.

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Israel and Gulf countries have secretly stepped-up intelligence sharing, particularly focused on Iranian arms shipments to proxy militias fighting in Yemen and Syria, according to American, European and the Middle East officials involved in security issues. This is in the West Bank.

Jordan Schachtel is the national security correspondent for Conservative Review.

No Israeli leaders will join President Trump to the Western Wall.

On Monday, Fox News correspondent Conor Powell tweeted that "Everyone I've spoken to in DC that has been briefed on #Jerusalem embassy move says #Netanyahu told #Trump not to move embassy at this time".

"We look forward to working with the new administration to find new ways and to think of new ideas, of how to move forward and build trust between Israelis and Palestinians", he added.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman took office on Tuesday and was immediately met with calls for the U.S. embassy to be moved to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

The Palestinian insistence for the last eight years that Israel must halt all settlement activity and Jewish building in east Jerusalem was one of the core stumbling blocs to direct talks.

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