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Trump Makes History as First Sitting US President at Western Wall

After arriving in Israel today, Donald Trump walked to some of Jerusalem's holiest sites. The Times of Israel's Marissa Newman reports that Trump first visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre before leaving a prayer note at the Western Wall, the first serving U.S. President to visit the Kotel:

Fifty years after Israel captured the Western Wall, US President Donald Trump on Monday became the first sitting American leader to visit the holy site, in a historic visit that saw him accompanied by his Jewish relatives in Jerusalem’s ancient Old City.

Entering the Old City’s warren of alleyways on Monday — on lockdown by police for his visit — Trump and his wife Melania met the heads of various Christian denominations and began their tour at one of the holiest sites in Christianity, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, believed by Christians to be the site of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

Security camera footage showed the US entourage, numbering hundreds of people, strolling through the ancient city’s alleys from Jaffa Gate to the holy Christian site under unprecedented security.

The US president was greeted outside the ancient church by the Armenian and Greek Orthodox patriarchs of Jerusalem. After briefly stopping to be photographed, he entered the building, along with his son-in-law and daughter, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.

From there, the US delegation walked back to Jaffa Gate, where they entered the convoy of dozens of vehicles to drive to the Western Wall.

Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch and Western Wall Heritage Foundation director Mordechai Eliav met the black kippah-clad Trump at the entrance to the plaza, which was emptied of worshipers for the presidential visit.

From there, Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner strolled to the men’s section of the wall, in accordance with the gender-segregated Orthodox practice at the site, while Ivanka and Melania Trump headed to the women’s section.

Trump approached the wall, lingering to touch the stones for some 30 seconds and slipping a note inside. On the women’s side, Ivanka Trump, who is Jewish, prayed at the wall, eyes shut, before stepping away. Melania Trump, too, stood in reverence at the wall...


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Landscape photo of Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock in the foreground.

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