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US spat erupts ahead of Trump visit to region

US spat erupts ahead of Trump visit to region

There has been speculation that Trump would visit the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, during his Israeli trip, which would make him the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

While the terms of the agreement are more generous to Israel that offers from previous USA administrations, reluctance to move the embassy has made heavyweight Republican funder Sheldon Adelson "furious", according to Axios.

Reported remarks by a Trump administration official rejecting Israel's claim to the Western Wall were "unauthorized" and do not represent the position of President Donald Trump, the White House said. "In diplomacy, you can't obligate Israel if there was no written summary of the talks and there were no agreements, and the reality [on the ground] has changed". It's none of your business. The world's refusal to accept that even the parts of the city that were inside the 1967 lines make up Israel's capital is more than an annoyance. It's not your territory.

Trump is expected to arrive in Israel on May 22 as part of his first foreign tour since taking office.

On Tuesday, Abbas told a press conference in Ramallah that he would be ready to meet with Netanyahu under President Trump's auspices. The Israelis then asked whether a TV crew providing live coverage of the Trump visit could at least continue to film here there.

"The statement that the Western Wall is in an area in the West Bank was received with shock", said the official in Netanyahu's office. It is Judaism's holiest religious site.

Israel has long pressed nations to move their embassies to Jerusalem; Palestinians, and much of the worldwide community, view east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Both Netanyahu and Abbas have visited the White House since Trump's inauguration, with the US President vowing to work as a "mediator" for Mideast peace. "They do not reflect the U.S. position, and certainly not the President's position". In 1980, Israel declared "reunited" Jerusalem its capital in a move unrecognized by major states. In addition, Ramallah estimates that Trump intends to accept the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as one of the bases for a regional initiative on Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Afterwards, Trump is anticipated to visit Masada, the ancient desert fortress which was the site of the final Jewish defeat in the First Jewish-Roman War in the 1st century AD. Trump's final destination will be Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the Palestinian Territories.

The argument over the Western Wall is not the only complication to come up while planning Trump's trip to Israel.

Trump also caused some controversy when it appeared that he would not visit Yad Vashem during his trip, although it is now being reported he will spend 15 minutes at the Israeli Holocaust Memorial.

When running for president, Donald Trump offered a standard Republican pledge to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. According to USA law, if the president wants to continue keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv, he must sign a waiver every six months explaining why.

Earlier on Monday Conor Powell, a Jerusalem-based reporter for the United States network, tweeted: "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".