Disputes Arise between Netanyahu, Trump over Relocation of US Embassy

Stabbing in Old City

Stabbing in Old City

U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson suggested on Sunday that moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv might not impact the Trump's peace-making efforts.

On Monday, Fox News foreign correspondent Connor Powell threw more fuel on the fire when he tweeted, "Everyone I've spoken to in DC that has been briefed on the Jerusalem Embassy move says Netanyahu told Trump not to move the embassy at this time".

"It would advance it by fixing a historic wrong and shatter the Palestinian illusion that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel".

Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, while Israel considers the entire city to be its undivided capital.

"We are committed to doing everything we can, in cooperation with the global community, to neutralise this danger, which we consider as a common threat that we all have an interest in defeating in defence of our shared human values and political security", Safadi said.

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 United States president to do so. There have been some signs that the Israeli government, while publicly supportive of moving the embassy, has quietly raised concerns that doing so could enflame the political and security situation.

The response triggered the "first public dispute" between Tel Aviv and the Trump administration, according to Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.

Israel angrily demanded an explanation from the White House, casting a cloud over the highly anticipated visit by the new president, which is being greeted with a mixture of excitement and nervousness by Israeli officials. Barack Obama placed a note between the Kotel's ancient stones in 2008 during his presidential campaign but did not return after his election.

"We have been saying that we are willing to engage in peace talks and are ready to cooperate with Trump in his efforts to make a peace deal with the Israelis possible on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant worldwide covenants", Nabil Abu Rudeineh, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman, told Arab News on Sunday.

Trump has said he hopes to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table to reach a final status agreement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He will try to relaunch the peace process although the prospects for progress are unclear as both sides are entrenched in long-held positions.

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. The report said the comment prompted shouting from the Israeli delegation helping with preparations for Trump's visit.

In a move unrecognized pretty much by the rest of the world, Israel declared Jerusalem al-Quds its capital in 1980s.

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