Cruz: Western Wall 'part of Israel' & Jerusalem Israel's capital

At a White House press conference Tuesday, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster declined to say whether the U.S. considers the Western Wall to be part of Israel, saying the matter "sounds like a policy decision".

The furor, just days before a presidential trip to Israel, began on Monday, when US representatives in Jerusalem declined an Israeli request to have Prime Minister Netanyahu accompany the president when Trump visits the Western Wall.

"The Western Wall is part of Israel and I think that is how we have always seen it and that is how we should pursue it", Haley told the Christian Broadcasting Network in a video interview. At the briefing, Gen. McMaster was asked twice whether the Trump Administration recognizes the Western Wall of the Temple Mount (the holiest site in Judaism) as part of Israel.

So I told you this weekend about Secretary of State Tillerson making the comment that moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem would depend on a peace deal between Palestine and Israel - something we know isn't just going to happen.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has welcomed Friedman's appointment.

The leaders closed the letter by requesting of the president to send a message early in his term that the "U.S. will honor its strongest and only true democratic ally in the Middle East by respecting their capital city-Jerusalem-and immediately moving the US Embassy there".

Israel was said to be the source of the classified information Trump gave the Russian foreign minister, the New York Times reported.

"The notion that there is a question as to whom the Kotel (Western Wall) belongs to is just preposterous", Hier said.

David Friedman was officially received by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin as new USA ambassador in a ceremony Tuesday, less than a week before President Donald Trump is set to visit. Later that day, the White House said that Bern's position did not reflect that of the administration or the president.

In an unusual move, he also released some of the minutes of a meeting he had with Trump in Washington in February, showing that he had pressed the new president to move the embassy. At the same time, Israel will be celebrating the anniversary of that occupation's start during Trump's visit, while trying to maintain the myth of an "eternal, undivided city" that isn't under occupation at all.

The 58-year-old will present his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.

The rival claims to Jerusalem lie at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and no countries now have their embassies in occupied Jerusalem, instead basing them in Israel's commercial capital Tel Aviv.

The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

Israel has long considered Jerusalem its capital.

Asked during a briefing Tuesday to clarify the administration's position on the Western Wall, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the reported comments do not reflect USA policy.

The controversial new US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, presented his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, officially starting his term.

Vanessa Coleman