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May 17, 2017 12:17 pm

Nikki Haley: Western Wall ‘Part of Israel,’ US Embassy ‘Should Be Moved to Jerusalem’

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US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Photo: Screenshot. – US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley broke ranks with the White House on Wednesday, telling the Christian Broadcasting Network, “I believe that the Western Wall is part of Israel.”

Although Haley clarified she did “not know what the policy of the [Trump] administration is,” she reiterated her assertion, stating, “We’ve always thought that the Western Wall is part of Israel.”

In the same interview, Haley also drew a contrast with other administration officials by saying Israel’s capital city “should be Jerusalem” and that “the [US] embassy should be moved to Jerusalem” from Tel Aviv. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had expressed a more cautionary tone on the possible embassy move in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on May 14, saying President Donald Trump was “being very careful to understand how such a decision would impact the peace process.”

Haley’s comments came in the wake of a diplomatic spat between Israeli and American officials, who are planning Trump’s May 22-23 visit to Israel. David Berns, political counselor at the US Consulate in Jerusalem, reportedly told his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall “is not in your territory.” The Trump administration quickly disavowed the statement, but has stopped short of definitively saying the Western Wall belongs to Israel.

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

Trump has indicated he is considering officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, but his current position on his election campaign pledge to move the US embassy to Jerusalem remains unclear.

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