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Why Trump is on track to disappoint Israel's Netanyahu

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Israel in rare opening to Palestinians'at Trump request

The two-day visit to Israel forms part of Mr Trump's first foreign trip as United States president.

Trump referred to the Iran issue repeatedly on Monday, expanding on his speech in Saudi Arabia the day before in which he blamed "Iran's rising ambitions" for violently destabilising the Middle East.

"(Trump) said that he understands the significance of the Western Wall for the Jewish people and that's why he made a decision to visit here during his first trip to Israel.

Trump added that he had detected, too, "a growing realisation among your Arab neighbours that they have common cause with you in the threat posed by Iran".

In statements after their meeting in Jerusalem on Monday, the Israeli prime minister emphasized the importance of the city to Jews, calling it their "eternal capital" and the "united capital of the Jewish state".

Allowing them to do so could have led to accusations that Washington was implicitly recognising Israel's unilateral claim of sovereignty over the site, which would break with years of U.S. and global precedent.

He later travelled by helicopter to Jerusalem and, in remarks at President Reuven Rivlin's residence, launched another salvo against Iran, Israel's arch-enemy.

Trump warned of Iran's escalating presence in the region.

Ilan Goldenberg, a Middle East expert at the Center for a New American Security, suggested Netanyahu is now "freaked out because Trump seems serious about peace".

(AP Photo/Oded Balilty). US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talk during welcome ceremony in Tel Aviv, Monday, May 22,2017.

Trump, wearing a black kippa, stood for a few moments in silent prayer in the men's section of what is known in Hebrew as the kotel, with his hand placed on the wall, while his wife Melania and daughter Ivanka prayed in the women's section.

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Trump was accompanied by the Western Wall's rabbi, Shmuel Rabinovitz, during his visit.

During an appearance on Fox Business' "Risk & Reward" with Deirdre Bolton, Dershowitz was asked about the president's visit to the holy site in the Old City of Jerusalem.

"It was a bad thing for the United States to enter that deal".

It was a marked change in atmosphere from meetings with Trump's predecessor.

Trump's visit is part of his first trip overseas as president, and follows an initial stop in Saudi Arabia where he urged Islamic leaders to confront extremism while also criticizing Iran. Trump himself never commented.

Trump, who is on his maiden foreign trip since taking office in January, urged Iran to cease "its deadly funding, training and equipping of terrorists and militias".

That refrain echoed the Saudi King Salman's description of the Iranian government as "the tip of the spear of global terrorism".

The emerging approach by the Trump administration marks a sharp break with the policy of Barack Obama, who had sought to engage with Iran.

This will be closely watched after Mr Trump's conflicting pronouncements on the alliance.

A senior administration official told Reuters last week that Trump remained committed to his campaign pledge to ultimately relocate the embassy but did not plan to announce such a move while on his trip.

The alleys and passageways of Jerusalem's ancient Old City, which Trump visited later in the day, were essentially under lockdown. He went to a country whose people haven't even seen ballot boxes and elections don't have any meaning for them. But Trump may face concerns from Israelis over the new $110 billion arms deal he announced during his previous stop in Saudi Arabia as well as questions from Israeli officials about revelations that he disclosed sensitive Israeli intelligence to Russian officials.

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