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Instead, President Trump focused on Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu as the committed partners for peace, adding only that the Arab world would like to see the two leaders reach a bilateral agreement.

Standing next to Abbas, Trump said, "If Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East", and that such an event "would be an wonderful accomplishment".

From its earliest days, the fundamental premise behind the Israeli-Palestinian peace process was that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) was finally ready to put down its guns, give up its dream of destroying Israel, and compromise.

Speaking to a group of Israelis in occupied Jerusalem on Tuesday, Trump said he is "personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a peace agreement". "I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it can begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East and that will be an wonderful accomplishment", he said.

In introductory remarks, Netanyahu voiced hope that Trump's efforts would help forge peace with Arab states, which, he said, shared with Israel a common concern about Iran.

He added, "And Iran's leaders routinely call for Israel's destruction ..."

Trump initially expressed openness to alternatives to a two-state solution in February, during a meeting with Netanyahu at the White House.

Michael Oren, a deputy minister in Netanyahu's coalition government and a former Israeli ambassador to Washington, said the vagueness with which Trump addressed the Israeli-Palestinian issue coupled with his sharp condemnation of Iran and terror dovetailed comfortably with current Israeli thinking.

TRUMP: There are those who present a false choice.

He reiterated the Palestinians' demands, including establishing a capital in East Jerusalem, insisting that "our problem is not with the Jewish religion, it's with the occupation and settlements, and with Israel not recognising the state of Palestine".

Rivlin, whose family has lived in Jerusalem since 1809, said the city "is the heart of the state of Israel, and the Kotel (Western Wall) is the heart of Jerusalem". The area, captured by Israel in 1967, is not sovereign Israeli territory and Palestinians there are not Israeli citizens and do not have the right to vote. The U.S. president also omitted a key phrase. "Without Israeli sovereignty what happened in Mosul, Aleppo and Sana'a will happen here", he said, referring to the cities destroyed during the conflict of the Syrian civil war.

During his visit to Israel, Trump spent his time close to open microphones, giving the world a small glimpse into his private banter with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a report by news agency AP.

There was no official criticism of Israel's occupation and other violations of worldwide law and numerous United Nations resolutions.

The internet is heavily scrutinizing first lady Melania Trump's body language toward President Donald Trump during their first trip overseas since he took office in January.


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