Trump pivots from U.S. commitment to two-state solution in Middle East

The new president warmly welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House and hailed the "unbreakable" bond between their countries. Netanyahu also was cool with the idea of an independent Palestine, saying he did not want to deal with "labels".

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday demanded a halt to Israeli settlement expansion in occupied territory and said he was committed to a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested he could be open to alternatives.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian reaction to Trump's comment was to threaten violence.

The poll, which surveyed 1,270 Palestinians and 1,207 Israelis, Jewish and Arab, was conducted in December.

But Trump also dropped US insistence on a two-state solution, a longstanding bedrock of Middle East policy, upending a position embraced by successive administrations and the worldwide community and a USA commitment to the eventual creation of a Palestinian state.

The PLO official equated rejection of the two-state solution with the outright rejection of the peace process in general. "I can live with either one".

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasralla speaking via video during a ceremony to honor fallen Hezbollah leaders, in Teir Debba, Lebanon, on Thursday.

The Iranians were also watching the proceedings in Washington.

"We can seize a historic opportunity, for the first time in my lifetime, and the first time in the life of my country", he said, "Arab countries do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly, as an ally".

Qasemi repeated Tehran's assertion that a nuclear weapons program had "no place in Iran's defense doctrine".

The "one-state solution" has gained support of late amid the failure of progress toward creation of an independent Palestinian nation. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.

The poll found that 55 percent of Israelis and 44 percent of Palestinians support a two-state arrangement. In addition, 51 percent of Israeli Jews, 48 percent of Israeli Arabs and 68 percent of Palestinians agreed with this statement: "Nothing can be done that's good for both sides; whatever is good for one side is bad for the other side".

  • Leroy Wright