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On Monday, he became the first sitting US President to visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem. In a statement following the meeting, Trump addressed his meetings the previous day with Arab and Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, and said that there is growing realization that they share a "common cause with you" in their determination to defeat extremism and deter "the threat posed by Iran".

According to reports, during the heated conversation, one junior American official told an Israeli official in the prime minister's office that the Western Wall is "not your territory".

Trump, who spoke after arriving in Israel on what is thought to be the first direct flight there from Saudi Arabia, has also vowed to do whatever is necessary to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

As reporters filed out of the room, Netanyahu was asked about his confidence in Israel sharing intelligence with the United States after Trump had shared classified information with Russian officials during a White House visit.

Later that day, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters only that the Western Wall was "clearly in Jerusalem", a fact no one denies, but a question Trump will nearly certainly be asked this week. What they were created to do, was make Trump believe that Israel is not the party to blame if and when the peace process once again fails as both sides seem to believe it will. Friedman, the new USA ambassador, apparently shared a similar assessment with his boss before departing for Israel last week.

Before visiting the Western Wall, Trump toured the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built at the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

The Obama administration's nuclear negotiations further fueled Gulf nations' worries about Iran's regional intentions, especially as it backs Shiite militias fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and supported the government of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad that many had opposed through supporting rebel groups there. He is slated to meet separately with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

This is the unexpected cloud that may hang over Trump's visit. He has taken a tougher line on settlements than Israeli officials had expected, urging restraint though not calling for a full halt to construction.

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Any leader would face an enormous challenge in seeking to bring the Israelis and Palestinians together for meaningful talks, and Trump's inexperience and domestic political struggles will only add to it.

Lastly, Trump made history simply by coming to Israel. Until now, this area had been largely off limits to Palestinian development. The appointment of David Friedman, a staunch pro-Israel activist as the USA ambassador to Israel, as well as his son-in-law Jared Kushner as the main envoy to the region, are additional examples. He did not elaborate and it is not clear how big the plan is.

The ancient stones are in a part of Jerusalem that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

The site is known to Jews as Temple Mount, the holiest place in Judaism, and to Muslims as The Noble Sanctuary, where al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, and the gold-topped Dome of the Rock, now stand.

Trump and his advisers have made reviving peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians a top foreign policy priority and the USA president will be looking to demonstrate some progress toward that goal on the other end of the trip.

Israel considers the entire city to be its capital while the global community says the future of east Jerusalem, claimed by the Palestinians, must be resolved through negotiations.

Trump has sent mixed signals about how he will approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"I'm looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like", Trump said at a joint news conference at the White House with Netanyahu in February.


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