Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Trump will not announce Israel embassy move on trip


Intelligence sharing and cooperation between the two countries is too robust and institutionalized across the security apparatuses of both countries to cease because of Trump's lack of discipline, but if the reports from January are to be believed that Israeli intelligence was concerned that information given to the Trump administration would be passed on to Iran via Russian Federation, those concerns are now magnified exponentially.

"Serving the U.S. as its ambassador to the State of Israel is the greatest honor of my life, and I pledge to you to do all that I can to strengthen and enhance the relations between our two great nations that you accurately described as unbreakable and, I would add, without limits", said Friedman to Rivlin.

Israeli police detained three Palestinians during a raid into the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya and another three after storming their homes in the Shufat refugee camp. "I hope we can move without any pressure".

The tendency in Trump's first months in office was to blame any decision that the pro-Israel right found unappealing on officials Trump did not appoint - civil service professionals whose tenure dated back to the Obama or George W. Bush administrations, or even further back. But it was US media outlets that outed the ally, the full nature of the plot, and the city where the plot was uncovered to the entire world, regardless of whether foreign intelligence agencies dished any of the information.

Israeli officials have declined to confirm whether they were the source of the information Trump shared, but have been quick to say counter-terrorism coordination with the United States is strong.

"The security relationship between Israel and our great ally the United States is deep, meaningful and unprecedented in its scope and contribution to our strength", Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman tweeted. "That is how it will continue to be".

The New York Times, relying on leaked information from anonymous US officials, revealed that Israel provided the information that Trump shared with Russian officials, narrowing the search field and making it easier for enemies to possibly identify the intelligence asset.

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A photojournalist working for an global agency was also injured in the incident after being shot in the arm by the settler. "My gut feeling is that anyone who belongs to the professional club is very angry". Yet both sides have an interest in continuing to cooperate fully on intelligence.

Israel's Channel Two reported that Israeli officials offering to help plan the event were told by American counterparts it was not their remit. Among those on hand were Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the House minority whip.

Israeli intelligence keeps close tabs on its Middle Eastern neighbors and Islamic militant groups across the region. It is also tactically smart given Trump's goal of restarting peace talks, since going to Israel on his first foray overseas will make Israelis feel as if Trump has their back before he starts to ask for concessions, and it will also put subtle pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu that makes it harder for him to say no to Trump's demands as easily as he did to Obama.

Netanyahu's office said it was astonished by the comment. But he did correct the record on the Administration stance regarding the supporting wall of the Temple Mount, erected by King Herod around the year zero: "The Western Wall is obviously one of the holiest sites in the Jewish faith", Spicer said. "Jerusalem is the capital of Israel".

But the worldwide community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which is also home to sensitive Christian and Muslim holy sites.

On Thursday evening hundreds of Palestinians from Al-Amari refugee camp in the West Bank city of Ramallah and nearby Qalandia gathered at a military checkpoint outside Jerusalem.

Trump has backed away from other campaign promises as well.

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Newly appointed US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman visited the Kotel after arriving in Israel on May 15. He explained that no Israeli leaders would join Trump at the Wall and that he would be visiting the site on account of its connection with the three great monotheistic religions and that he meant to convey a message of unity against the enemies of the civilized world.

Trump is set to visit Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican in the coming days.

Like those that came before him, Trump's "current policy is opposition to building in the settlements, opposition to annexation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and support for Palestinian national aspirations", wrote Barak Ravid, diplomatic correspondent for Haaretz.

Even as last-minute changes are being made to Trump's ambitious Middle East itinerary, the trip has been complicated by Israeli concerns about his sharing of sensitive intelligence with Russian Federation that may have compromised an Israeli agent, and by his decision to hold off on a campaign promise to move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

At the same time, he said Israel understood that Trump, as president and commander-in-chief, had the authority to divulge the information, even if in doing so he had shown that he "has no experience in how to deal with intelligence". He urged Netanyahu to stand firm during the visit.

Haley told CBN that she believed he should act on the matter. It remains unclear whether Trump will go beyond speeches to present concrete peacemaking proposals to the parties, or press them to take steps that could create a better atmosphere for renewed negotiations.

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