Talks with Netanyahu constructive, says Australian leader

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process is at a critical juncture and the European Union and its member states should recognise Palestinian statehood, according to members of Parliament's Palestine delegation.

To the extent wheeler-dealer Trump was presenting a coherent policy during his press conference, he was expressing exactly that kind of open-mindedness.

In Israel, Netanyahu's far-right Likud party has opposed the two-state solution, preferring instead one, Jewish, state.

On the issue of the two-state solution, not a word was uttered by either leader in opening remarks. A two-state solution is the most likely successful outcome, as well as the one majorities support in polls of Israelis and Palestinians.

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Leading up to the occasion and following the Netanyahu delegation's events with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, a group of Labor MPs called for Australia to recognise Palestine as a state.

But that's an overly simplistic interpretation of a deeply complex situation.

Also on Friday, dozens of Palestinians staged a protest in Hebron against US President Donald Trump who has voiced strong support of Israel, pelting a huge portrait of America's leader with shoes, an ultimate insult in the Arab world.

The second issue that stood out in the press conference was on the question of Israeli settlements.

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During the meeting with Netanyahu, Trump told reporters, "I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like".

"My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticizing Israel of the kind recently adopted by the UN Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns created to delegitimize" Israel, he said, referring to the Security Council Resolution 2334, which was adopted last December denouncing the Israeli settlements as a "flagrant violation of worldwide law".

Friedman said his view was the Israelis had as much a right to West Bank as the Palestinians and said past presidents were wrong to take the position that Israel was occupying the land. Netanyahu realizes that unchecked settlement activity and annexation of any parts of the West Bank will completely isolate Israel internationally and even put him on a collision course with the United States.

Australia has reaffirmed its support for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but in a joint communique from Melbourne, Israel refrained from doing so, the The Times of Israel reported on Thursday.

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