U.S. ambassador David Friedman arrives in Israel

Demonstrators hold signs outside the Binyamin police station in the West Bank in support of two Israeli settlers who were detained for involvement in the shooting of Palestinian stone throwers. (Courtesy

Ahead of President Donald Trump's first overseas trip, the White House got caught up in an global spat with a major ally this week.

Israeli Channel 2 reported that a senior USA official visiting Israel ahead of Trump's visit next week told his Israeli counterparts that holy site was "not your territory.It's part of the West Bank" during a conversation over a possible Trump trip to the Western Wall.

"The view that the Western Wall is part of the West Bank was received with shock", the official said.

Israeli officials reacted angrily to recent reports in local media that representatives of the U.S. consulate had suggested the Western Wall in occupied East Jerusalem did not belong to Israel.

The question was raised after a USA consular official reportedly told an Israeli official that the wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, "is not your territory, it's part of the West Bank".

According to Galey Israel radio station, Trump donated 10,000 dollars to the group. Although his campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem seems to be on hold, U.S. officials have hinted that Trump could make some other gesture to show Washington's new thinking on the city's status. The President will meet with Palestinian President Abbas in Bethlehem and with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

The White House distanced itself from the alleged comments, saying in statements to USA media that they did not reflect the views of the administration.

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Rivlin called on the "whole world to recognise Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel".

His walkback on the alliance with Israel was questioned by leaders of both parties, who were disappointed that he appears to be breaking his promise to recognize Jerusalem (and the Western Wall) as part of Israel.

The Western Wall, in east Jerusalem's Old City, is the remnant of the ancient temple, destroyed more than 2,000 years ago.

Israel objected and sought to make it a public visit with Netanyahu escorting him, which United States diplomats rejected, with one noting Israel doesn't have sovereignty over the Western Wall.

In Saudi Arabia, Trump will address a gathering of representatives of 50 Muslim nations in what McMaster said would be an "inspiring yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology and the president's hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam".

The status of sovereignty over the wall became a political issue between the USA and Israel earlier this week.

Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., claimed that moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem "will cause [Palestine] to understand that Israel will be here forever with Jerusalem as its capital", cited by the Times of Israel.

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