It seems that the official was prompted to make the statement after members of Netanyahu's team asked if Netanyahu could join Trump on the visit to the Western Wall and whether Israeli photographers could document the event, to which the Americans replied that the Western Wall was a "disputed territory".
In a bitter diplomatic incident, a senior member of the USA delegation making preparations for Donald Trump's visit to Israel next week angrily rejected a request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompany the president when he visits the Western Wall, and then sniped at his Israeli counterparts that the Western Wall is "not your territory". It is Judaism's holiest religious site. But two employees of the PMO's public relations department accompanied the preparatory tour to see if the Americans needed any help with arranging media coverage, such as preparing places for journalists and photographers or arranging for live broadcasts of Trump's visit to the holy site. "It's part of the West Bank", said the White House official, according to Channel 2.
Trump controversially campaigned on a promise to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a move that would break with decades of precedent and essentially recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. Trump had promised during his campaign to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, whose status is one of the thorniest issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"It makes many of us - who are hoping for a change in U.S. -Israel relations - nervous", Foxman, the current Director of Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, told Jewish Insider "I can not believe that the traditionally pro-Palestinian functionaries in the American Consulate in Jerusalem are making the decisions on the Kotel and Jerusalem". "They do not reflect the USA position, and certainly not the President's position", a White House spokesman told Haaretz.
Friedman is an orthodox Jew who has raised funds for a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank.
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.
The diplomatic controversy erupted on the day the new US ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, arrived to take up his new post. In an apparent coincidence, Steven Tyler, lead singer of Aerosmith, was visiting at the same time and briefly spoke to Friedman. "I prayed for the president, I wished him success especially on his upcoming trip".
Bennett said he was not sure why Trump has changed his rhetoric.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday the president was still considering the move, but was analyzing the impact it would have on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
He also held face-to-face talks in Washington with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas earlier this month, confidently predicting that a peace agreement was within grasp, brushing aside the complexities of a conflict that has bedevilled successive United States leaders.
Bennett said he welcomed Trump's arrival next week, but said Israel also has to stick to its positions.
Palestinians say moving the embassy would be a de facto recognition of Israel's control of all Jerusalem.