Benjamin Netanyahu expected to face protests in Australia

The right regional approach would be to revive the Arab peace plan, on the table since 2002, which offers Israel peace and normal relations in exchange for its withdrawal from all Arab land captured in 1967, and the creation of a sovereign Palestine on the West Bank and Gaza, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Tel Aviv- With the return of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the USA following what he has considered a historic meeting with President Donald Trump, Israel's rightwing expressed disappointment and concerns over agreements reached between the two sides on settlements, Iran and spy Jonathan Pollard. Mr Netanyahu called the meeting "historic" and one that strengthened the two countries' longtime alliance.

Lee explained his stand at a joint news briefing with Netanyahu, who despite previously endorsing the two-state solution now heads a coalition government comprised of many opposed to a Palestinian state. "The end game is no doubt a two-state solution", he said. The Palestinians continually reject both of these prerequisites. Therefore, the UN must be given full support by all unaligned nations, including Ireland, in its endeavours to make Israel compliant with global law.

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With all the questions that should have been raised, it was disturbing that the only real discussion that followed the visit focused on warnings that a one-state solution would produce a state with an Arab majority compromising Israel's Jewish character - with no attention paid to the issues of justice or the rights of the Palestinian people.

Trump's aides contributed to the confusion by stating that Washington remained committed to the two-state solution that remains a staple of Mideast diplomacy, but added that the administration was also open to alternative solutions. "The most important thing is to reach understandings with the US on all issues". Even some Palestinians are looking around and wondering if now is the best time to test the ability of their society to stand on its feet against a backdrop of Middle East upheaval.

Regarding the construction of Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territories, which the Netanyahu administration is expanding, Trump gave his candid opinion directly to Netanyahu, telling him: "I'd like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit".

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"Both sides should exercise restraint and be prepared to make compromises in order to achieve a lasting peace", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

"I will make it clear to Mr Netanyahu that where settlement-building is an obstacle to two-state solution, it should be stopped". "We are also good friends with the Palestinian National Authority and with many Arab countries".

The sensitivity of the situation has increased with President Trump's expressed vow of moving the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, breaking with the practice of several of his predecessors who campaigned saying they would move the embassy during their campaigns but refrained from such action once they were in the White House. -Israeli ties in such efforts as dealing with their adversary Iran and mopping up terror organizations.

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At the time, they spoke of the peace process, stalled since 2014, and pledged to reinvigorate the Arab Peace Initiative.


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