U.S. expects Western Wall to be part of Israel

Administration official says Washington cannot envision situation under which the Western Wall would not be a part of Israel.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff,

Trump at Western Wall
Trump at Western Wall
Nati Shohat/Flash 90

The U.S. expects the Western Wall in Jerusalem to be part of Israel, but specific boundaries are subject to final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), a senior administration official said Friday.

“We cannot envision any situation under which the Western Wall would not be a part of Israel. But as the President said, the specific boundaries of sovereignty of Israel are going to be part of the final status agreement,” the official told Israeli public broadcaster Kann.

The official also noted that U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the Western Wall as part of his upcoming trip to Israel will be an official visit and not a private one.

Friday’s statement follows U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem last week. The recognition angered the PA, which has announced it would boycott Pence’s visit to the region in protest.

The Trump administration chastised the PA on Sunday over its refusal to meet Pence.

“It’s unfortunate that the Palestinian Authority is walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region” said Pence’s deputy chief of staff, Jarrod Agen, “but the administration remains undeterred in its efforts to help achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians and our peace team remains hard at work putting together a plan.”

Earlier on Friday, it was announced that Trump’s Middle East peace negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, will return to Israel next week for talks related to the peace efforts.

Greenblatt will meet with Fernando Gentilini, the European Union’s special representative to the Middle East and stay for U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Israel later in the week.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)