John Bolton visits Western Wall, angering Palestinians

NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 24: National Security Advisor John Bolton attends a media briefing during the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2018 in New York City. Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton visited the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Western Wall.

Bolton arrived in Israel on Saturday night, He is scheduled to meet Sunday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will travel from Israel to Turkey. The subject of the meetings in both countries is the situation in Syria.

Netanyahu said Sunday morning at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting that he would discuss with Bolton “the efforts to block the Iranian aggression in our region, the situation in Syria in continuation of both President Trump’s decision and the conversation I had with President Putin last Friday, and the deepening of intelligence and operational cooperation between Israel and the U.S., which is becoming closer all the time.”

Bolton was accompanied on his tour of Jerusalem by his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
The U.S. embassy released video of Bolton’s visit to the Western Wall. The tour included the tunnels under the Western Wall complex.
Saeb Erekat, the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in a tweet condemned Bolton’s visit to the Old City of Jerusalem, saying it undermines international law. “This behavior will not change the fact that East Jerusalem is occupied territory and the capital of the state of Palestine,” he said in the tweet.
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