PA Envoy: 'I Promise There Will Be a Palestinian State'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu challenged US concerns over moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, in what Haaretz newspaper called his "first public dispute" with the Trump administration.

Four months after US President Donald Trump took office and one week before his visit to Israel, Israeli officials are calling on him to fulfill a promise made during his presidential campaign to acknowledge Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the US embassy to it.

"The transfer of the USA embassy to Jerusalem does not only not harm the peace process, but the opposite".

According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu's office was "shocked" by the comments and has asked the Trump administration about the incident.

However, the worldwide community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future independent state.

The site has been politically controversial, as it is located in Jerusalem's Old City, which was under Jordanian control from the founding of Israel in 1948 to 1967, when it came under Israeli control following the Six-Day War.

But U.S. national security adviser H.R. McMaster suggested on Friday that Trump could move closer to the two-state principle when he meets Abbas, saying the U.S. president will express his desire for "self-determination" for the Palestinian people.

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

Israeli right-wingers have pressed Trump to stick to his pledge to move the embassy to Jerusalem, but the president has backed away since taking office, saying it was still being looked at.

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.

The most recent waiver, signed by Barack Obama, expires on June 1. "It's part of the West Bank", Israeli television reported on Monday night.

Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem would not harm the peace process.

The new US Ambassador, David Friedman, just arrived in Israel and his first visit was to the Western Wall where he said he "prayed for the president". By then, President Trump will have to decide whether to renew the order or refrain from signing it, which would launch implementation of the law. But Tillerson linked Trump's deliberations directly to his aspirations for brokering Mideast peace.

Israeli daily Haaretz described the conflicting comments as "the first public disagreement" between Netanyahu's government and the Trump administration.

In a final declaration issued at the end of its summit, the Arab League voiced opposition to any plan for the transfer of embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds. "We believe Israel is willing, we believe you're willing, and if you both are willing, we're going to make a deal", he said at a joint press conference with Abbas.

He will meet with each of them again next week - with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Abbas in Bethlehem.



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