National view: Middle East peace starts in Saudi Arabia

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Thousands of Israelis rallied Saturday in Tel Aviv in support of a Palestinian state ahead of the 50th anniversary of Israel's occupation of Palestinian land.

A message of support from Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was read out at the rally.

This week his first foreign trip as president began in the Middle East. "He was putting a lot of pressure on them that it was time to get to the table", Tillerson told reporters referencing the meetings the President had with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Further, the U.S. leader did not bring up the issue of sovereignty over the city of Jerusalem, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as their capital.

He added, "First the two-state solution must exist and be implemented". In terms of broad strategic objectives there is some continuity between the two presidential administrations. "I can live with either one".

On Wednesday, in a Knesset session and marking Jerusalem Day, Netanyahu said that the Palestinian refusal to recognise the Jewish state and its capital is the "root of the conflict", pledging that the holy city including "the Temple Mount and the Western Wall will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty".

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Rubin points out that Trump's visit came just days from "Jerusalem Day", when the Jewish nation remembers winning control of the Old City from Jordan in the Six-Day War in 1967.

It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community. "Certainly, one of the reasons the concept of an "outside-in" approach has fallen out of favor with this White House is that Arab leaders have communicated their reticence to bring their covert relationships with Israel to light without advancement on the Palestinian front".

Trump's meeting with Abbas took place a day after the American leader's historic visit to the Western Wall, the first such visit to the holy site by a sitting USA president. Yet candidate Trump offered few details on precisely what he would do differently.

The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations has welcomed a clarification from President Donald Trump's Administration that it does not regard the Western Wall in Jerusalem as a "part of the West Bank", contrary to earlier media reports.

"The Palestinians are ready to reach for peace" and "Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace", said Trump.

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