Jerusalem, May 22: Dold Trump on Monday became the first visiting US President to visit the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites, in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The historic visit is part of Trump’s efforts to highlight “the need for unity among three of the world’s great religions” on his first foreign trip, senior administration officials said.
Trump, wearing a yarmulke, placed his right hand on the wall and swayed slightly back and forth with his eyes closed. He was flanked by his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, and Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovich, CNN reported.
US First Lady Melania also left notes at the other side of the Western Wall.
Despite requests from Israeli officials, Trump visited the Western Wall without any Israeli government official by his side.
Trump’s stop at the Western Wall came between Sunday’s visit to Saudi Arabia where he called on Muslim leaders to “drive out the terrorists and extremists”, and his forthcoming visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
The US President along with his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre before going to the Western Wall. The Western Wall is not officially recognised as Israeli territory, and the Trump administration has not been clear about whether they believe the holy site is part of Israel. (ians)