Bolsonaro Visits Western Wall with Netanyahu, in First

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: via Social Media)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, accompanied by Israel’s prime minister, visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall on Monday as the Palestinians considered recalling their ambassador in Brasilia over a new trade mission to Israel in the holy city, reports Reuters.

The ancient Western Wall is located in the eastern part of the city Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed in a move not recognized internationally.

Israel has long considered all of Jerusalem as its eternal, indivisible capital, while Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state they seek in territory Israel captured in the 1967 war.

US President Donald Trump broke global consensus in 2017 by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US embassy there last May.

Brazil on Sunday opened a new trade mission to Israel in the city, edging back from earlier signals it would follow the United States with a full embassy move.

Bolsonaro, on a four-day trip to Israel, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approached the wall together and leaned side-by-side against its massive stones. Bolsonaro placed a prayer note in between the stones, as is customary.

Bolsonaro’s original proposal to move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem angered the Muslim world, and senior Brazilian officials backed away from it for fear of damaging ties with Arab countries and jeopardizing billions of dollars in Brazilian halal meat exports.

Presidential spokesman Otavio Rego Barros said on Sunday the trade mission would not be a diplomatic representation, but the move angered the Palestinians.

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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