Shouts of 'Dump Trump' in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem

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As President Donald Trump became the first sitting USA president to visit the hallowed Western Wall on Monday, it remained unclear whether his administration was changing longstanding US policy by declaring the wall's location to be Israel, versus Jerusalem.

At a joint appearance with the president in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked if Israel now had any concerns about sharing intelligence with the United States; the New York Times reported last week that Israel had given Washington key intel about terrorists' bomb-making abilities. A lot of people in Israel also don't always realize they are in the Middle East.

He has taken a softer position on the contentious issue of Israeli settlements, suggesting that their expansion rather than their presence might hamper the search for peace.

Demonstrators in Palestine aren't optimistic either, gathering in Gaza ahead of Trump's Tuesday visit with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

While campaigning for the presidency, Trump undertook - as have some of his predecessors - to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a step that would lend enormous weight to Israel's claims to its capital.

In Jerusalem, in public remarks after talks with Israeli leaders on the first day of his two-day visit, he again focused on Iran, pledging he would never let Tehran acquire nuclear arms.

"In the Middle East, an area that suffers from terrorism and madness, the alliance between the United States and Israel shines like a beacon of liberty and progress", Rivlin said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani played down Mr Trump's strong criticism of Iran at a summit in Saudi Arabia at the weekend, saying: "Who can say regional stability can be restored without Iran?"

Trump and Abbas met earlier this month at the White House.

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The current Israeli government led by Netanyahu is one of the most conservative in the country's history, and Abbas' hold on power is as tenuous as ever - and mistrust reigns between the two. The two sets of leaders also do not trust each other. It failed, however, to fully detail why such skepticism exists ("On the Israeli and Palestinian street: Shrugs, cynicism and a dash of "crazy hope" for Trump visit").

Before meeting Netanyahu, Trump visited the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem where according to Christian tradition Jesus was buried and resurrected.

Afterwards, wearing a black skullcap, he made his symbolic visit to the Western Wall, placing what appeared to be a written prayer or note between its stones, as is custom.

Trump told him his administration believes that 'peace is possible if we put aside the pain and disagreements of the past and commit together to finally resolving this crisis, which has dragged on for almost half a century or more'.

It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognised by the worldwide community and claims the entire city as its capital.

The Palestinians want at least eastern Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state, and Islamic theology calls for the Temple Mount - which Muslims call al-Haram al-Sharif ("Noble Sanctuary") - to be in Muslim hands, exclusively and always. "Benjamin Netanyahu wants peace", Trump said.

It is a stark symbol for Palestinians of Israel's 50-year occupation of the West Bank, and in Bethlehem the wall has been covered with graffiti and street art.

Neither Israeli nor Palestinian leaders are willing or able to make the compromises needed to get serious peace talks back on track.

Trump's daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism and is married to one of the president's top aides, Jared Kushner, also visited the women's side of the wall.

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