Pompeo to visit Western Wall with Netanyahu in break with diplomatic practice

In a First, Pompeo Visits Jerusalem's Contested Western Wall With Netanyahu

On Thursday's broadcast of CNN's "Situation Room", Representative Anthony Brown (D-MD) criticized President Trump's announcement that the US will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights by stating that "the manner in which he did it, was highly inappropriate".

"Tonight, President Trump made the decision to recognize that that hard-fought real estate, that important place, is proper to be a sovereign part of the state of Israel", he said.

In 2017, Trump went against decades of practice by recognizing the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, rather than the previously accepted Tel Aviv. He did it again.

The administration has been considering recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Netanyahu arrives in Washington next week to meet with Trump and address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, lobbying group.Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network's "Mornings with Maria" that he did not intend his move as an explicit election boost for Netanyahu. It moved to formally annex the territory in 1981 - an action unanimously rejected at the time by the UN Security Council. His decision will be seen as a diplomatic coup for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel took the territory from Syria in a 1967 Six Day War.

The Israeli occupation of the Golan has been less controversial than the occupation of the West Bank partly because the Golan is sparsely populated.

Neither were accompanied by Israeli leaders during the hugely symbolic visits.

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If implemented as official US policy, Trump's plan could have long lasting effects on the Middle East.

Senior U.S. officials, including Trump and numerous predecessors, have visited the wall privately in the past, but never with an Israeli leader.

"I think it's important". Trump moved the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, upending the worldwide consensus that a permanent two-state solution would first need to be reached so Israel and Palestine could jointly share the city as their capital.

The presidential order enraged Palestinians, who see the largely Palestinian region of East Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian nation qhose existence the US hasn't acknowledged. The spot, which once housed the biblical Temples, is the holiest site in Judaism and today is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third-holiest site in Islam.

He was also taken to the Western Wall tunnels and Wilson's Arch.

"There's nothing he can do to actually change the status of the Golan", Miller said. In all, 151 nations voted in support, with just Israel and the USA voting against.

"You talked about Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, all of these entities that present risks to Middle East stability and to Israel", said Pompeo. "It's a fact, and this administration wishes well for the Palestinian people".

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