Israel urges U.S. to transfer embassy to Jerusalem

The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City

The front of the United States embassy is seen in Tel Aviv, Israel January 20, 2017.

The warnings from U.S. officials across government agencies - including from some inside the West Wing - add to the steady stream of cautionary advice Gulf state diplomats and top Arab officials have shared with Trump and top White House advisers.

Earlier this month, marking Israel's Independence Day, Vice President Mike Pence said that the Trump administration was continuing to give "serious consideration" to moving the embassy to Jerusalem, The Times of Israel reported.

Both Netanyahu and Abbas have visited the White House since Trump's inauguration, with the US President vowing to work as a "mediator" for Mideast peace.

Netanyahu is reportedly pushing to deliver a joint speech with Trump at Masada, another historical site in Israel, rather than just the introduction he is now slated for.

He has yet to make any concrete moves toward carrying out that promise.

"The transfer of the American Embassy to Jerusalem not only will not harm the peace process, but the opposite", Netanyahu said in the statement on Sunday.

However, the global community does not recognize Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians seek as the capital of a future independent state.

The PLO's chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour in January that the PLO would revoke its recognition of Israel if Trump moved the embassy.

The U.S. Embassy is located in Tel Aviv, Israel's commercial center but not its capital.

The Israeli prime minister released an excerpt of minutes from a February meeting at the White House with Mr Trump that his office said proved he called for the embassy to be moved.

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"Israel is convinced that this statement contradicts President Trump's policies..."

Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish men participate in the Cohanim Priestly caste blessing during the Jewish holiday of Passover, in front of the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray in Jerusalem's old city, Monday, April 25, 2016.

Israel's Channel Two reported that Israeli officials offering to help plan the event were told by American counterparts it was not their remit.

Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in 1967.

There was no immediate comment from the White House.

The United States, like most of the worldwide community, has traditionally considered Jerusalem disputed ahead of final-status negotiations.

Also on Tuesday, Trump's controversial choice for ambassador David Friedman presented his credentials in a ceremony at President Reuven Rivlin's residence in Jerusalem.

He also later met with Netanyahu.

It's part of the West Bank.

A bankruptcy lawyer by profession, Friedman has no previous diplomatic experience. There have been some signs that the Israeli government, while publicly supportive of moving the embassy, has quietly raised concerns that doing so could enflame the political and security situation.

Trump will travel to Israel on May 22 as a part of his first overseas tour.

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